“Oops, we got that wrong,” says Gardaí after wrongly claiming high-vis is mandatory

— Misleading @GardaTraffic tweet is still online with 195.5K views and counting.

“Oops, we got that wrong,” the official @GardaTraffic tweeted this morning after wrongly claiming on Monday that high-vis is mandatory for people walking and cycling.

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On Monday evening, the An Garda Síochána @GardaTraffic account tweeted: “Our roads policing team in Buncrana, Co. Donegal caught a glimpse of the aurora borealis while on patrol last night. We hope that you stay safe if heading out tonight to try get a look at the night lights – Pedestrians and cyclists must wear high-vis clothing. #SaferRoads.”

There is no legal requirement for people walking and cycling to wear high-vis, and the misleading tweet may compound the issue of confusion among rank and file in the Garda force — before this, members of the public have said that some individual Garda officers seem to be under the impression that there is.

Some officers have falsely accused members of the public of not following the law by not wearing high-vis, and, in some cases, members of the public have said that they have been questioned about such as if it is a requirement while they are reporting dangerous driving or close passing by motorists.

A number of campaign groups responded by quote-tweeting or replying to the Garda tweet.

Safe Cycling Ireland said: “Yup, the scene is absolutely gorgeous. Your tweet message is misleading though. When you use the word ‘MUST’, this suggests a legal requirement to do do, but there isn’t such law…
You guys uphold law, and you MUST do better NOW…!!!

Dublin Commuter Coalition tweeted: “Pedestrians and cyclists don’t have to wear high-vis clothing if they don’t want to. Cyclists must have lights. Please ignore this account, they’re ill-informed.”

Navan Cycling Initiative said: “This is a very misleading message. There is no law stating that pedestrians and cyclists must wear high-vis clothing. We expect you will retract this statement and clarify that hi-vis is not a legal requirement but a personal choice.”

Wee Greenway Initiative said: “Would you remove this tweet as it is factually incorrect? Under the Roads Act, there is no section that states: cyclists and pedestrians ‘MUST WEAR’ high-vis.”

The Gardai Press Office has yet to directly respond to requests for comment made by IrishCycle.com yesterday and early this morning.

But just before 9am today @GardaTraffic tweeted: “Oops, we got that wrong. While it’s not a requirement, we would encourage all pedestrians and cyclists to wear high-vis clothing when using the roads after dark or in poorly lit areas. #BeSafeBeSeen”

The misleading tweet is still online and can be accessed with no sign of the correction.

The Policing Authority and Garda Inspectorate were also contacted for comment this morning, and this article will be updated if they respond.

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