It wasn’t long ago that elevators in Japan were hit by all manner of scandals, whether it was substandard steel, entrapment or even crushing, it was the “cool” thing in the news at the time. Everything has its turn on Japanese news. They even playÂ scaryÂ music during the news reports toÂ heighten the danger. The topic usually changes each month when it loses its entertainment value, but we’ve had foreign crime, food scandals, drink driving, and school suicides to name a few.
This time, Japanese escaltors are in the spotlight. How could these well maintained, slow moving, automatic staircases be so evil? Read this:
A 9-year-old boy was seriously injured Tuesday at a supermarket in Hiratsuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, when his head became trapped against an overhanging wall while ascending on an escalator, police said. The boy accidentally dropped some coins over the hand rail. When he leaned out to look for them, his head became stuck between the wall and the railing. [Source: Japan Today]
Of course, this might have just beenÂ a freak accident, but no!Â Japanese escaltors are evil! Why? Because they have also sucked upÂ dozens of pairs of CrocsÂ rubber shoesÂ or similar, this year alone! Yep, they are out to get you!
The news show I watched this evening, accompanied by the usual scary music, went into great depth to point out the dangers of these evil escalators. They tested different sizes of polystyrene “head” leaning over the rails, and even forced a rubber shoe down theÂ side of the escalator, proving that these are people-eating machines!Â To add to the terror, experts were called in to testify that these escalators are aÂ menaceÂ to society, and the blame rests solely on the manufacturers and the department stores that don’t highlight the dangers to their customers.
This is typical of the Japanese media, and probably that of any country, but it seems way over the top to me.Â I prefer to consider the millions of people that ride these escalators every day, and then wonder what percentage of them have accidents? Maybe 0.000000001% or something like that?
Sometimes, people should be responsible for their own safety. Don’t lean over an escalator rail, and don’t get too close to the edge of a step. If you’re a parent,Â point out the dangers to your kids and keep an eye on them when they’re riding the escalator. Accidents can happen, but they can also be avoided with a little vigilance.
Remember: The scary music is thereÂ because the news is just a form ofÂ entertainment, okay? Don’t let the “news” take our kids’ favorite shoes away! Stand up for Crocs!If you like, you can find me on Twitter at @nick_ramsay. I'd love to hear from you!