The Road Safety Authority of Ireland has branded a number of motorists who make a living as high profile public figures "incredibly irresponsible" after they were exposed filming themselves while behind the wheel.
The RSA slam comes after a popular anonymous page under the guise of "Bloggers Unveiled" highlighted several people for using social media apps like Snapchat and Instagram while operating their cars.
There is no excuse. Watch this eye-opening video on why you should never use your phone while driving. pic.twitter.com/b8ay7Cr2JW— RSA Ireland (@RSAIreland) March 21, 2018
The page began by calling out fashion, beauty, and fitness bloggers over their misleading photo editing practices. As "bloggergate" continued with investigations into questionable sponsorship and endorsement disclosures, the page has now amassed over 50,000 followers.
The most infuriating practice being highlighted is the prevalence of people who share updates to their tens of thousands of followers while behind the wheel.
Most pressingly, one café owner turned avid social media poster took to his channels to share a video while driving in a snow-laden Dublin during Storm Emma.
When his actions were criticized by the page, he belittled the account for "only having approximately 5,000 followers".
The business owner, Paul Stenson, also thanked the page (tongue-in-cheek) for giving his White Moose Café "more publicity".
Deleting his initial responses, he then said, "The worst that can happen during a red alert is human death. And that’s why we don’t drive during a red alert. But I see what you’re doing. You’re showing a video taken last night, where no warning was in place, and purporting that it was taken this evening when there is a warning in place. I presume this is a bid to get more followers for yourself."
Ironically, Stenson himself was behind a widely publicized spat with a British blogger not so long ago.
Under Irish Road Safety Authority regulations, drivers who are caught "accessing information" on mobile phones face a mandatory court appearance and a fine of up to €1,000 for a first offense.
The RSA has condemned "influencers" for uploading updates while behind the wheel.
"Our message is simple. Don't use a mobile phone - for any reason when you are behind the wheel of a car. This applies to situations while driving or when stopped in traffic. Social media influencers have an added responsibility, as people in positions to influence the behaviour of others, to set a good example and demonstrate the correct behaviour," a spokesperson said.
The Bloggers Unveiled page says it receives up to three messages a day from followers alerting the moderator that there are many more "social media influencers" still "snapping while driving".
The moderator has urged people to tag the Road Safety Authority Instagram account when it sees such uploads.
And another one. @andy_maher you have nearly 15k followers and should know better than this. He says he wasn’t driving at the start and then precedes to drive! The irony of him preaching about a health focused motivational speech while he records it from behind the wheel where he could have killed someone. Have I stepped into a parallel universe where this has suddenly become acceptable? These people are driving on the same roads as our families and are going to be responsible for killing someone yet. If you comment, please tag @rsaireland at the end of your comment. The page is public now so the more tags the better. I’m getting fed up with this crap and something needs to be done about it. There is NOTHING that important you have to tell us that can’t wait until you get home. #arrivealive