A poll posted on Twitter today by An Garda Síochana has been heavily criticised by cycling advocacy groups in Ireland for amongst other reasons creating an ‘us versus them’ divide between cyclists and motorists. The poll was posted on the @gardatraffic account which is described as the official Garda Síochána account with info on traffic & major events.
The poll asked whether people considered cyclists running red lights or cars being parked in cycle lanes was more dangerous.
They also posted a tweet with New Year’s Resolutions for 2018 stating: “If you are a cyclist, please stop at red lights and obey all the rules of the road,” and “If you are a motorist, please don’t park in cycle lanes and obey all the rules of the road.”
Amongst those to respond to the poll was Green Party leader Eamon Ryan who said: “I think you should admit this poll was ill-conceived and sit down with cycling organisations to consider how our traffic laws could be better designed and enforced.”
The Dublin Cycling campaign group said that: “We’re deeply disappointed with the timing of this tweet by @GardaTraffic, a day after we published our report on the 50% rise in cyclist fatalities in 2017.”
The Stayin’ Alive at 1.5 group posted the following on Twitter in response to the Garda tweet: “Please tell us that your account has been hacked… If not, are you guys for real? In the very time YOU should be helping with the them vs us divide..”
Keen cyclist and Minister for the Diaspora & International Development, Ciaran Cannon responded to the tweet saying: “Appallingly ill-conceived and deliberately divisive tweet from our national Garda Traffic Unit. Both poll options are illegal, yet the person in charge of this Twitter account seems to think there is some warped merit in deciding which illegal action is more dangerous.”
The Gardaí responded to the criticism saying that: “There is no us v them involved. We all share the road. We want everyone’s new years resolution to take care on the roads, consider other road users and #ArriveAlive.”