'No-selfie zones' set up in one of the world's biggest cities

Selfies are officially a public safety problem in Mumbai, leading police to ban them at 16 popular tourist spots.

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Eric Mack
2 min read

A couple take a selfie at the Arabian sea coast in Mumbai, India, in December.

Divyakant Solanki, EPA

By one count, 49 people have died in fatal selfie accidents over the past few years, with the biggest chunk of those deaths happening in India. In response to two recent deaths, Mumbai has reportedly designated 16 "no-selfie zones" around the nation's largest city, which is home to a number of photogenic sites.

In January, an 18-year-old woman fell into the sea while attempting to snap a selfie at Mumbai's famous Bandra Fort. She drowned, along with another man who jumped in after her in an attempt to save her.

Soon, designated "no-selfie zone" signs will be going up at the fort and 15 other famous spots on the city's coastline, including on Marine Drive and Chowpatty beach.

"We are also planning police patrolling in the high-risk areas for proper implementation of the ban," Mumbai police spokesperson Dhananjay Kulkarni told CBS News, adding that the law allows for fines of up to $17 to be issued.

Some tourists may be willing to sacrifice that sum for the perfect shot, but obviously that's not the point. That India is topping the selfie death count list worldwide probably has something to do with its massive and dense population of around 1.3 billion. But it's also part of a rising global tide of selfie stupidity.

Earlier this month a rare species of dolphin died after it was pulled out of the water and passed around for selfies at a beach in Argentina. As if that weren't stupid enough, this week a Florida man pulled the same move with a shark.

In September, a park in Colorado closed because irresponsible visitors were taking selfies with bears in the background. Yes, we're talking about people turning their backs on bears in the wild and then doing something irritating with a shiny, reflective device.

That was the same month that a man had an accident while driving and using a selfie stick, and a 19-year-old in Houston accidentally shot himself while trying to take a selfie with a gun.

The list of tragic and/or stupid accidents goes on and on. Seriously, people, just be careful and pay attention to your surroundings beyond the frame of that perfect photo.

By the way, the rest of your fellow humans don't care about your perfect selfies nearly as much as you do (and the sea animals are downright pissed off about them at this point). It's absolutely not worth any kind of risk. Back me up on this, fellow humans.