Police urge children to stop dangerous Snapchat craze involving hanging off motorway bridges
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) is warning of a dangerous new trend that may be a social media challenge.
The force's officers responded to a number of incidents this week on motorways around the city, including the M60 and M66, amid reports that people were hanging off bridges over the roads.
When speaking to individuals involved, the police were reportedly told it's part of a challenge on Snapchat. The challenge appears to involve leaning over motorway bridges, then sharing the images on the multimedia sharing social media app.
GMP's Bury division issued a statement which reads:
"Urgent appeal. Please can all youths and parents alike stay well clear of motorway bridges. There have been recent reports of youths climbing over bridges to take photos of vehicles passing below - following Snapchat/ Facebook requests. These place are very dangerous places and people are putting themselves in great danger in doing so. To date police have responded to numerous such incidents."
It's not the first dangerous dare trend to sweep social media. Several years ago, users encouraged each other to engage in "extreme planking". Planking – lying rigidly, face down somewhere – became more and more risky as people sought to escalate their planking locations. Eventually 20-year old Acton Beale fell to his death while planking on a seventh floor balcony.
The latest trend could be even more dangerous, as participants not only risk falling, but also being hit by fast-moving traffic. This also poses a risk to vehicle occupants.
By Andrew Evans