A total of 54 train delays on JR lines in the Tokyo metropolitan area between April and May were caused by passengers dropping their mobile phones onto railway tracks, a report compiled by East Japan Railway Co. (JR East)'s Tokyo Branch Office has shown.
The company is warning passengers against dropping such devices onto railway tracks, as about 23 percent of train delays due to fallen objects on tracks involved mobile phones.
The Tokyo Branch Office surveyed train delays in Tokyo, Ibaraki, Chiba, Saitama, Kanagawa, Tochigi and Yamanashi prefectures, and analyzed cases in which those delays were caused by fallen objects on train tracks. As a result, it turned out that 23 out of 120 delays lasting for 1 minute or longer in April were attributable to passengers dropping their smartphones and other mobile phones, while May saw 31 such cases out of 109 train delays.
JR officials believe passengers in many cases dropped their mobile phones while using them as they get on or off the train, or when they bumped into others on station platforms.
"We want passengers to be careful because the handling of such devices can not only cause train delays but also trouble between passengers," said Yasuyoshi Umehara, head of the JR East Tokyo Branch Office.