In the middle of a busy road in Byron Bay, a spray-painted love heart saying ‘yes’ attracts tourists after a selfie in the name of marriage equality.
Many travellers are queuing up by the side of the road as they wait to take a photo with the graffiti, often lying down or doing a handstand next to it in order to get the ‘perfect’ Instagram photo.
The movement follows the globally popular hashtag #yesroad, where people post photos of themselves with the graffiti in order to promote marriage equality online.
Yet the local residents, council and police are troubled by the growing social media trend, which is putting many people – both tourists and drivers – at risk of harm.
The graffiti is located on a bustling intersection near a sharp corner. The local council intends on further investigating the area and potentially painting over the graffiti in order to protect people from harm.
This comes amidst rising concern about tourists putting their lives on the line for a photo, with over 250 selfie-related deaths and many more injuries being reported.
Many of these deaths and injuries occur when people attempt to take a ‘danger selfie’, which may involve doing a handstand near the edge of a cliff or pointing a loaded gun at themselves.
Most selfie-related deaths have occurred due to falling from a height (such as a waterfall, building or cliff face), being hit by a train or car, drowning, firearm accidents and electrocution.
While getting creative with social media posts can be tempting, authorities warn of the potential dangers associated with taking risky photos.
Some councils have put additional safety measures in place around high-risk areas such as waterfalls and cliff edges, installing fences and signs outlining the risks, and setting fines for trespassing.