VANCOUVER, B.C. – More and more British Columbians are taking serious risks — often involving BC Hydro infrastructure — to get the perfect shot for social media.
According to a report released Friday titled Living on the Edge, incidents from trespassing near dam sites and climbing transmission towers and penstocks have increased by 200 per cent in five years.
BC Hydro says many of these incidents are captured and posted on social media as a badge of honour, and it’s not an isolated issue.
“Between 2011 and 2017, 259 people were reported killed worldwide in selfie-related incidents,” reads the report.
The report shows that almost half of all British Columbians have seen someone stand at the edge of a cliff, ignore safety signs or climb to dangerous heights for a photo or video.
A survey found the motivation for this risky behaviour may be tied directly to social media.
The most dangerous things people have done for their desired shot include standing at the edge of a cliff (16 per cent), ignoring safety signs or trespassing (12 per cent), and taking a picture from a dangerous height (nine per cent).
In addition to selfies, one in four British Columbians admit to staying in a park or recreation site after hours, 17 per cent admitted getting too close to wildlife, 15 per cent had gone cliff diving, and 12 per cent said they had gone swimming in a restricted area.
The report says two per cent, or around 80,000 British Columbians have injured themselves while trying to get a photo or video.
In order to mitigate the dangers that exist near dams, reservoirs and other electrical equipment, BC Hydro recommends the following:
For more information on safety around BC Hydro infrastructure, go to the BC Hydro website.