Mate’s stab at drivers after cyclist’s death
WITH a haunted look in his eyes, Dave Sharp - the close mate of a cycling activist who died this week - let rip in an emotional six-minute video attack.
A cycling enthusiast and activist himself, the shattered Queenslander used sunglasses to hide the tears as he revealed how he discovered he'd lost his friend, Cameron Frewer - who was fatally hit by a ute as he was cycling on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.
In the strongly worded video, Mr Sharp took aim at politicians and police, who he claims have done "nothing" to stop cyclists dying on Australia's roads.
"I just can't even comprehend this," he begins. "No matter what you do. No matter how hard you plead and how often to god knows how many people - nothing changes."
He goes on to describe how he met Mr Frewer 10 years ago and worked closely with him to promote cycling safety.
However, he said he had a bad feeling upon hearing a cyclist had been killed on the Sunshine Coast on Monday.
"As soon as I saw the news story from the Sunshine Coast the first thing I did was check his page, (Mr Frewer's cycling safety awareness campaign) Drive Safe Pass Wide to see if he had posted anything," he said.
"I just had a feeling. And then I got the phone call."
He then breaks down into tears, before launching a scathing political attack.
"To every transport minister in the country, to every police commissioner in the country - you've had years to do something about this and you continue to ignore the problem," he said.
"We pretty much all wonder these days whether you guys give a sh*t. All you want to do is protect your own arses. You can't do anything positive for cyclists because it's going to cost you votes. That's all you care about and it's people like Cameron that lose out.
"What a waste. Cam was one of the good guys. He was making a difference. He was raising awareness, despite the death threats and abuse and despite the complete lack of empathy from our Government and police."
Earlier this year, Mr Frewer, 44, helped launch the campaign Safe Pass, Drive Wide after experiencing numerous close calls with vehicles while cycling. He was also a vocal member of news.com.au's Share The Road Facebook page, where he would often engage in debates and spark ideas to keep cyclists safe.
Safe Pass, Drive Wide called on motorists to leave a minimum of a metre when passing vulnerable road users.
The beloved father-of-three was allegedly struck down by a ute as he was cycling west on Caloundra Rd, Caloundra, on Monday at about 6.05am. He died at the scene despite efforts from paramedics to save him.
WATCH DAVE SHARP'S FULL VIDEO MESSAGE BELOW. WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE
Hauntingly, he appeared to predict the manner of his death - telling ABC Sunshine Coast radio in January he was sure he'd be struck down while cycling.
"I know one day I'm going to be hit. It is just a matter of when," he told the station.
However, Mr Frewer said he was not going to stop going out on the roads.
"Why do you do it? Once you get the bike bug, most of the roads are fine," he said.
Despite his best efforts to inform the public of the dangers of close passing, his fears of riding on the road spiralled after moving from Victoria to the Caloundra suburb of Little Mountain a year ago.
"It's the 10 per cent (of drivers) that come within half the distance of you. When you have a car going at a fair tilt come within 50cm of you, it is scary," he told the Sunshine Coast Daily in September.
Bicycle Queensland chief executive office Anne Savage was a close personal friend of Mr Frewer.
"Cameron was one of Australia's fiercest advocates on safe cycling," she told Bicycling Australia.
"I don't have the words to describe how I feel today. My thoughts are with his devastated wife and children right now. He fought every day of his life to make Australian roads safer for cyclists. This is the darkest of hours."
Queensland Police is asking for witnesses of Monday's incident. However, no one has been arrested or had enforcement action taken against them.