Video: Gardai warn cyclists not to post videos and accuse drivers

Posted on: January 27th, 2019

The gardai have made an interesting intervention in the case of a cyclist who posted footage online of an alleged close pass by a taxi driver.

 

Gardai have warned a cyclist who shared a video of an alleged “close pass” to refrain for identifying drivers they are making allegations against.

The warning came after one Twitter user posted a video (below) they had recorded in traffic in Dublin.

In a message accompanying the video, the cyclist alleged one taxi driver who passed him was swerving in the road.

He also alleged, in the same message, that a second driver passed him very closely.

 

 

The Garda Twitter account engaged with the cyclist and left a reply (below) urging that videos containing allegations against identifiable drivers not be shared.

“Do not post images or video alleging offences against people or vehicles who can be identified,” it said.

“Data protection everyone is entitled to their good name. Report the matter at a Garda station.

“Make a statement this will allow prosecution to proceed. All must share the road safely.”

Making a allegation against any person on social media can result in a civil action. The person against whom the allegation is made can sue.

They must be able to prove (1) they were clearly identified and (2) that the allegation made was untrue and that (3) the allegation damaged their reputation.

This applies to any social media user, not just cyclists posting videos of motoring incidents. The laws of libel would apply to any such situation rather than the criminal law.

If a case went before a court; the court must decide if the person was libelled and, if so, what damages/compensation should be paid to them, if any.

However, the Garda would have no involvement in such cases. They are effectively civil disputes between two parties rather than a criminal matter.

Moreover, accusing a driver of passing too closely would probably not be regarded by the courts as libellous because close-passing is not a criminal offence in Ireland.

 

The video posted…

 

…and the Garda’s response

 

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