The Journal.ie reported about a Tweet and its story on Thursday here: While Gardai were carrying our speed checks at the Limerick tunnel, a man drove by in the other direction and decided in his wisdom to beep and to make a “choice hand gesture”. (Whatever that is and more about that later!)
No matter what the guy did, it was stupid, childish and not justifiable in the slightest. He was clearly happy that the gardai didn’t get him, but you must be some sort of an idiot to react the way he did.
Being an idiot though, is not normally a punishable offence. But in this case, the gardai who did the speed check wanted revenge. They spent a “number of days” to identify the driver (using the camera recordings from the Limerick tunnel operator) and to issue him with a fine for “a combination of dangerous driving offences including not watching the road while travelling at high speeds”. EUR 80 and three points was the punishment. In addition they felt it was necessary to tweet about it here twitter.com/GardaTraffic/status/1024904377075748864 and decided to add a “choice hand gesture” from the series Friends.
As I clearly said, the guy was an idiot. BUT we also know (or SHOULD know) that revenge is never a good motivator. In the same way as the driver should have just celebrated quietly that he wasn’t caught speeding, the gardai should have just called him an idiot and should then have continued with their work. Beeping and a hand gesture are NOT enough to spend days of work.
And the offence? I wouldn’t be surprised if a judge would remove the penalty if he went to court. If beeping and making a hand gesture is a dangerous driving offence, then EVERY driver should get a EUR 80 fine multiple times every day. So I am really not sure if the gardai in this case affirmed their moral superiority. Instead it seems as if they lowered themselves to the level of of idiot driver. Their “choice hand gesture” was in the tweet and it was no better than the drivers stupid reaction.
I am actually disappointed about the reaction of the gardai! Nobody should ever have to endure being insulted by idiots when they do what is part of of their job, but revenge is NOT what I would expect gardai to spend days of their work on.
(By the way: We can only guess that the driver was showing the middle finger because the term “choice hand gesture” is NOT a term that is anywhere defined. If you search for it on Google, you will find no explanation but you will find MANY links to media articles about the same event. It didn’t make much sense to use this term!)