Aussie teens caught in dangerous TikTok trend: 'No brains'

The popular TikTok trend has raised safety alarms for authorities.

The rise of a dangerous TikTok trend has been condemned by police, after one Canberra resident spotted three teens "clinging" onto the back of a bus.

In what is known as "bus surfing" by adolescents and authorities alike, the activity involves hitching a free ride on a bus by any means possible without alerting the bus driver, with many recording their efforts for social media.

Three teenage boys can be seen on the left hand side of the picture running away from the bus after they were 'bus surfing'.
Three teens in Canberra were spotted bus surfing on a local bus, with the motorist behind alerting the driver before the boys rushed off. Source: Facebook/Canberra Notice Board

"The bus driver had no idea he had three hitchhikers until we honked and flashed our lights at him getting him to stop," the Canberra resident shared on Facebook. "At this point the boys went running."

Concerns over dangers associated with TikTok trend

Despite a handful of people online believing the teens' recklessness is nothing to worry about, with one even commenting "danger is a part of growing up", the behaviour was strongly condemned by authorities amid safety fears.

"This behaviour is incredibly foolish, and likely to lead to serious injuries," an ACT Policing spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia.

"A person runs the risk of falling onto the road and then possibly being run over by other vehicles.

"Falling at any speed faster than walking is likely to lead to significant injuries," they continued.

As is the nature of social media, the phenomenon has spread far and wide, with the incident in Canberra joining similar videos created in UK and US on the social media platform.

Concerns over bus surfing in Australia have been previously reported including an incident in Sydney in 2020 when a teenager was filmed on a bus roof outside Canley Vale station.

TikTok has been forced to clamp down on the trend, removing the majority of associated videos from their platform and instead sharing a warning message when 'bus surfing' is searched for in the app.

It reads: 'Your safety matters. Some online challenges can be dangerous, disturbing, or even fabricated. Learn how to recognise harmful challenges so you can protect your health and well-being."

The sentiment was shared by many online, with social media users concerned at the prevalence of the potentially harmful activity.

"This is an accident waiting to happen," one woman wrote, while another simply referred to the young boys having "no brains".

"A cheap thrill and some social media likes are not worth a life potential lost due to unnecessary dangerous behaviour," the ACT Policing spokesperson said.

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