On Sunday we reported on a video shot by an Australian motorist in which he took to a bike path to overtake two cyclists who he then verbally abused. The Illawarra Mercury reports that the two cyclists were off-duty police officers and Thomas Harris has now been issued a future court attendance notice for using his phone while driving, for offensive language, and for driving on the cycle path.
The video was filmed on Harris’s mobile phone on Swamp Road, between Dunmore and Jamberoo on the southern New South Wales (NSW) coast.
“'What's the point of us spending this money if you're not going to use it, you fucking dickheads?” asks Harris as he passes the cyclists.
“Pull over, so I can have a chat,” replies one.
“Fuck off, fucking idiot... use the fucking bike track,” says Harris.
The footage was widely shared on social media and has been viewed several million times.
Harris was interviewed by Lake Illawarra police on Monday night.
“The two cyclists, from the video, appear to be abiding by the road rules,” said Acting Inspector Lee Ingmire – who pointed out that the path they were spurning was a shared-use one which they were under no obligation to use.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Harris pay his likely fines and has so far raised over 3,500 dollars.
It was launched by Adam Dederer from Stuarts Point, a village 600km from where the incident took place.
“Let’s get behind this Aussie Hero and help put an end to this sh#t,” he wrote. “Thomas Harris, 28yo has been charged for trying to prove a point to the media about cyclists hogging roads when there are clearly government funded cycleways in place for their safety and the safety of other road users.”
NSW road rules stipulate that cyclists can ride two abreast on a road. Hypocritically unaware of this, Dederer goes on to brand the police officers ‘uninformed’.
“There needs to be a stop to cyclists riding two abreast on roads where there are cycleways, and something needs to be done about these ignorant and "uninformed" cyclists.”