Potty-mouthed driver to cop a court appearance
OF ALL the cyclists he could have picked on, the potty-mouthed cyclist-abusing driver whose obscenity-laden video divided Australia chose to lose his rag at the wrong blokes.
There's no way Thomas Harris could have known, but the Lycra-clad men at the receiving end of his tantrum were off-duty boys in blue enjoying a jaunt on their bicycles at 8.20am on Australia Day.
Fired up Mr Harris, 28, was severely unimpressed upon clocking the cyclists, peddling two abreast on Swamp Road, between Dunmore and Jamberoo on NSW's South Coast.
He took out his smartphone and began filing a clip which has now been viewed millions of times on social media.
The clip shows him swerving on to the cycling path and speeds past the bikers, screaming insults at them as he does so.
"What's the point of us spending this money if you're not going to use it, you f***ing d**kheads," he can be heard yelling out the window.
One of the cyclists yells back, telling the driver to "pull over so I can have a chat".
But the irate motorist wasn't interested in talking, screaming "F**k off, f***ing idiot … use the bike track" before speeding away.
The clip, initially posted on CarMafia Facebook page, was then shared on the CarSociety Facebook page - under the title "This is by far the best thing I've seen this year" - on Sunday.
The video split opinion across Australia - with many critics saying the cyclist should have been riding on the cycle path.
Harris was interviewed by police on Monday night and issued a future court attendance notice for using his phone while driving, offensive language, and for driving on the path.
However, a campaign to pay his fines and legal fees has been launched - stating that Harris is an "Aussie Hero". It has generated more than $2500 so far.
"Lets (sic) get behind this Aussie Hero and help put an end to this S**t," the campaign's page reads.
"Harris, 28yo has been charged for trying to prove a point to the media about cyclists hogging roads when there are clearly goverment (sic) funded cycle ways in place for their safety and the safety of other road users.
"There needs to be a stop to cyclists ridding (sic) two abreast on roads where there are cycleways, and something needs to be done about these ignorant and 'uninformed' cyclists."
However, local Acting Inspector Lee Ingmire said the two cyclists - who happen to be his colleagues - appeared to be abiding by the road rules.
"Regardless of whatever the bicycles are doing on the road, it doesn't justify what the driver did," Insp Ingmire told the Illawarra Mercury.
"He's on the path like a good hundred metres before he approaches the bicycles. The bike riders haven't had the opportunity to drop back to a single lane."
Many social media users praised the driver for his expletive filled rant, with the Facebook page asking if anyone thinks he "deserves Australian of the year".
"He makes a good point. Why ride on the road when there is a perfectly good bike path," one person said.
"This accurately depicts what is wrong with cyclists and road rules," another said.
One commenter likened the act to "p**sing in the garden when you could use the dunny".
But not everyone agreed with the driver's actions, with some social media users slamming others for encouraging the abuse of cyclists.
"Mouths off but doesn't pull over when confronted. You're tough bro," one person wrote.
One commenter claimed the driver should have his licence taken away.
"Video of some cyclists legally riding on the road and some nob in a car illegally driving on a pedestrian/bike path," another said.