Motorists criticising cyclists for breaking the law are actually showing their own ignorance of the road rules.
This week, Thomas Harris was the centre of controversy after he drove along a shared pathway, abusing two cyclists on a Jamberoo road while filming the incident on his mobile phone.
Given the incident happened on Australia Day, when double demerits were in force, Harris could lose his licence if found guilty.
The mobile phone use alone would be 10 demerit points if found guilty.
The heart of his problem was that the cyclists were using the road rather than the pathway he was driving on.
Plenty of Mercury readers have shown their support for him, pointing out the police should have known better.
However, the cyclists were doing nothing wrong and those complaining should go back and read the road rules.
The cyclists were obeying the law.
There are shared pathways and dedicated bike lanes, the latter are identified by signage.
The Jamberoo incident featured a shared pathway and there is no law that says cyclists have to use that over a road.
If, however, there is a dedicated bike lane (which is usually part of the road) and it is in the direction the cyclist is travelling, then they must use it or risk a $112 fine
Also, cyclists are allowed to ride two abreast, providing there is no more than 1.5 metres of space between them.
“Bicycles have little protection compared to motor vehicles, making bicycle riders more vulnerable in a crash,” said Centre for Road Safety’s acting executive director Claire Murdoch.
“It’s important that drivers, cyclists and pedestrians all respect each other’s space and ensure that everyone stays safe.”