Driver disqualified and fined $2,000 after 'reckless' act with cyclists

A 40-year-old Tasmanian man has been disqualified from driving for two months and handed a hefty $2,000 fine after he drove within 30cm of a group of cyclists and blasted his horn.

The incident, which occurred just outside Launceston in August, involved three bicycle riders — a 16-year-old and two adults, police said.

The trio were riding east on Pateena Road, otherwise known as the ‘Flying Mile’, when the driver overtook them at about 80 to 90km/h.

The driver seen passing one of the cyclists involved closely.
The incident involved three cyclists — a 16-year-old and two adults. Source: Tasmania Police/Facebook

Police said the man failed to pass them at a minimum distance of 1.5 metres.

“He sounded his horn as he approached and was estimated to be just 30-40cm to the right of them as he overtook,” Tasmania police said in a press release on Facebook.

“At the time traffic was light and there was sufficient space for the small group to be overtaken safely.”

No one was injured.

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The 40-year-old man pleaded guilty to reckless driving and failing to maintain a safe distance when passing a bicycle rider.

Video of incident leaves viewers divided

Police posted a video of the incident on social media, where many praised the actions of authorities – but not everyone agreed that the driver was in the wrong.

“So now the cyclists have more rights than the other road users…f****** joke!” one woman wrote while sharing the footage.

The woman went on to accuse cyclists of riding in the middle of lanes, forcing cars “completely into the other lane”.

However Bicycle Network Tasmania shared the video and thanked Tasmania police for their work.

“Essential that the message keeps getting out that driving too close to people riding is reckless and endangers people's lives,” the group wrote.

Tension between drivers and cyclists is nothing new.

In December, the cycling community voiced their concerns about a "growing trend" believed to be an attempt to harm riders on the road.

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