January 23, 2023

Pointing and calling system reduces mistakes and prevents railway accidents

The conductors in Japanese railway system follow a peculiar habit. As each operator runs the train, they point at different objects and call out commands. For eg, when the train approaches a signal, the operator will say "signal is green." They call out the train's speed by pointing at the speedometer, state the time by pointing at the time table.

This Pointing and Calling system was designed for safety. It reduces error by up to 85% and cuts accident by 30%.

It is effective because it raises the level of awareness from a non-conscious habit to a more conscious level.


  • Atomic Habits (James Clear), Chapter 4 – The Man Who Didn't Look Right