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Our View: Let's get over this planking stupidity

Reid Moodie posted this photo on Facebook of him planking on The Strand, shocking his step-mother Vanessa.

Reid Moodie posted this photo on Facebook of him planking on The Strand, shocking his step-mother Vanessa.

Will medical science ever come up with an explanation for what turns seemingly intelligent young people into risk-takers with a death wish?

The dangerous youth phenomenon - planking - is the latest fad to grip the Facebook generation and while the death toll so far is only one, we can be fairly sure it will rise if the worldwide craze continues to grow at the current rate.

Planking involves lying rigid or straight across unusual public spaces and photos or video of the "plank" are put on the internet.

Yesterday, the Bay of Plenty Times brought you the story of 15-year-old Tauranga Boys' College student Reid Moodie and his misguided planking effort on the railway tracks on The Strand in Tauranga.

He decided to perform the "stunt" because he was just "hanging out" and thought he'd take a "calculated risk".

Moodie's actions understandably drew the ire of Tauranga city councillor Tony Christiansen, who lost both legs in a shunting accident on railway tracks when he was a child.

He said: "It's inconceivable why people think they are invincible."

It is fair to say the teen's step-mother was none too impressed either and following a stern talking to from his parents the teenager has vowed to change his ways.

Planking first came to prominence when 20-year-old Australian Acton Beale fell seven storeys when he planked on the balcony of his seventh-floor Brisbane apartment this month.

Several other incidents have followed close behind and lives have been put at serious risk.

What is guiding the actions of these young people?

Is it the bravado and invincibility of youth that only enables them to see the fun side of their actions.

Planking is unfortunately just the latest in a long line of stupid actions from young people.

We don't have to delve too far into the subject of speeding and drunk young drivers or the perennial issue of boy racers.

It seems to be all about the thrill.

But while we can see the dangers that young people put themselves in, what can we do about it?

It comes down to communication and education and letting them know what is going on and how dangerous it can be.

We were all young once and we all did things in our youth we probably regret now, but that is no excuse for us turning a blind eye to an incredibly dangerous game.

Quite simply, the sooner planking becomes yesterday's craze, the better.