Cathaoirleach weighs in on social media dare threat

“A poor lorry driver had to swerve to avoid them. Not good news for the nerves,” says witness

Concerns have been expressed after a potentially lethal game of chicken involving teenagers and fast-moving traffic was witnessed near Kingscourt earlier this week.

The incident occurred amid a resurgence in dangerous challenges trending online on social media platforms like YouTube and TikTok.

In a message shared widely on social media since first posted on Monday evening last (May 17), three young girls were observed “taking it in turns” to run across the road in front of traffic in the Callans area.

It's claimed the girls had set up a camera phone on one side of the road, and may have been videoing themselves as they darted back and forth.

The author of the post noted that the girls were “leaving it very close” and “nearly caused an accident” twice.

“A poor lorry driver had to swerve to avoid them. Not good news for the nerves.”

Earlier this year TikTok announced changes for users under age 18 years, including changing the default privacy setting for all registered accounts ages 13-15 to private.

However, that same month, reports emerged that a woman was hospitalised in Limerick after being hit by a car taking part in a 'Ghosting' game, which involves putting a bed-sheet over their head and having a photo taken in public.

Back in 2014, the social media challenge Neknominate made the headlines following several deaths, including some in Ireland, where followers on SnapChat and Twitter would film themselves drinking a pint of an alcoholic beverage as quickly as possible.

Last year the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) issued a warning after videos apparently of machinery being misused on Irish farms for dangerous stunts started appearing.

Such is concern that Cathaoirleach of Cavan County Council, Aontú's Sarah O'Reilly has weighed in on the debate.

She became aware of the post soon after it was posted.

She worries that trend such as 'Ghosting', that began in the US last summer and later appeared in the UK before Irish users of the Tik Tok app started to make their own attempts, could return or become manifestly worse in nature.

“Now the ante is upped even further and to an extremely dangerous level of risk where teenagers are playing 'Russian roulette' with traffic, the aim is to run out in front of traffic as closely as possible, putting themselves and everyone around them in great danger,” says Cllr O'Reilly who is appealing to parents to talk to their children on the dangers of participating in such activity, and to further highlight the importance of road safety.

"I have seen injuries to a person who is struck by a vehicle, the injuries are generally horrific and catastrophic.”

Asking the public to be vigilant and to report anything similar, Cllr O'Reilly has been in contact with the Gardai in Carrickmacross and made them aware of what had happened noting that officers they are taking the incident “very seriously”.

“This is no longer an innocent game, it has developed into a highly dangerous act both for the person running across the road obviously, but it could also cause a driver to swerve and maybe collide with another car or pedestrian, it has to be stopped immediately,” stated Cllr O'Reilly.

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