Sharing of road traffic accident images must be banned

29 August 2023

Labour transport spokesperson Duncan Smith has urged Government to fast-track Labour legislation introduced in July 2022 that prohibits the recording or publication of images taken at the scene of a road traffic accident.

The “Protection of Accident Victims from Non-Consensual Recording of Images Bill 2022″ was drafted in response to the distressing and grotesque phenomena of images of road traffic accident victims being shared online.

Deputy Smith said:

“The posting and sharing of images taken by those who come upon the scene of an accident has become all too common. The fact that family members and friends can be exposed to such harmful and grotesque images before they have even learned of the accident is unforgivable. It is deeply disrespectful and distressing intrusion into private grief that must be outlawed.

“The cold hard reality is that there are between 150 and 200 road fatalities and approximately 8,000 injuries due to road traffic collisions every year. There is hardly a person in this country that hasn’t had either direct or indirect experience of a serious car accident resulting in death or serious injury within their family, circle of friends or community. 

“It is becoming increasingly common for An Garda Síochána to issue strong requests in the immediate aftermath of a serious accident for people not to share these types of images and it must stop. It has been a very dark summer on our roads. Government must prioritise Labour’s legislation to ban the practice of sharing road traffic accident images when the Oireachtas returns in September.”

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