If 2013 and 2014 were the years when the selfie craze took hold, then 2015 was when we discovered how dangerous they are.

In January, three Indian college students were killed by a train when they stopped on the road to Agra and tried to take a photograph of themselves in front of it.

In August it was David González Lopez, 32, killed photographing himself during the bull run in Villaseca de la Sagra, Spain. In September, a teenaged Russian urban climbing enthusiast fell from the roof of a nine-storey building, and a young Australian woman, Kristi Kafcaloudis, fell from the Trolltunga rock in Norway.

In the past, Darwin awards have been declared for deaths like these, attributing the victim’s death to their foolishness, but really, it seems fair to put most down to youthful misadventure – egged on by the promise of a souvenir photograph and an online audience.

In Russia, selfie deaths are now becoming a matter of national concern. “Since the beginning of the year, we are talking about some hundred cases of injuries for sure,” said Yelena Alexeyeva, an aide to the interior minister – and she was speaking in July.

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As a result, the interior ministry launched a public safety campaign, warning people not to pose in dangerous places, and to keep their wits about them. Perhaps some day, ideally soon, the “safe selfie” lesson will be a fact of life in the world’s schools.