Unnecessary trips: RSA warns cyclists, but not motorists, to question their ‘need’ to travel

Met Éireann officials are warning all road users to not make unnecessary journeys due to orange snow and ice warnings, but yesterday a Road Safety Authority (RSA) warning yesterday confined this type of advice just to cyclists and motorcyclists when there was only a yellow warning in place.

The RSA has been repeatedly criticised by campaigners for having a behind-a-windscreen viewpoint. This may sound flippant, but the idea that people and institutions in car-dominated countries can see things much differently is backed by research, including recent research coining the term “motornomativity” which found that “individuals and policy-makers, show unconscious biases due to cultural assumptions about the role of private cars”.

Part of the RSA’s ‘Road Safety Alert Weather Warning for Snow’ released yesterday morning said: “Motorcyclists / Cyclists should not compromise their safety by their ‘need’ to travel in snowy conditions.”

There was no equivalent advice for people using cars under the heading “Drivers are advised to…”.

At 11.39am today the RSA updated its Road Safety Alert Update due to the orange weather warning for snow and ice. A Met Éireann orange warning is issued when there are “Infrequent and dangerous weather conditions which may pose a threat to life and property.”

There is now an orange warning in place for snow and ice for Cavan, Donegal, Monaghan, Clare, Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon, Mayo, Galway, Longford, Louth, Meath, and Westmeath from 11am today to 12 midday on Friday, and for Leinster from 12 midnight to 10am on Friday. Beyond those locations/times, a yellow warning continues for the whole of the country until midday tomorrow.

The RSA update this morning includes: “Road users are being advised to avoid making unnecessary trips in affected areas while Orange warnings are in operation. If driving in such conditions is unavoidable be prepared. The golden rule is drive with care and caution – expect the unexpected. Road users are advised to check local traffic and weather conditions before setting out on a journey and heed any public messages issued by An Garda Síochána and the Local Authorities.”

But despite the general warning for all road users to avoid unnecessary trips, this Road Safety Alert Update again included the line that “Motorcyclists / Cyclists should not compromise their safety by their ‘need’ to travel in snowy conditions” without no similar advice under the heading “Drivers are advised to…”.

IrishCycle.com yesterday asked the RSA why there was no equivalent questioning of motorists’ need to travel and if they think that necessary journeys are only for people who own a car.

A spokesperson for the RSA said this morning: “The yellow warning press release was issued in the knowledge that an Orange Weather warning for snow was due to be issued as well which we just issued this morning.”

A further question was asked as to why there was no bullet point under the “Drivers are advised to:” heading which also says that motorists should not “compromise their safety by their ‘need’ to travel in snowy conditions”? No response was forthcoming before this article was published.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.