Bird 'salute' stirs off-duty police

DAVID Murray Griffiths didn't know it, but the two people he was so proudly displaying his middle finger to during a road rage episode were policemen.

Griffiths picked the wrong vehicle to tailgate and hurl abuse at as he overtook the off-duty cops on the Bruce Hwy just north of Gympie on August 14, 2011.

Not only was Griffiths' vehicle seen driving erratically and swerving across lanes while towing a trailer, it was also using foglights in clear conditions in the middle of the day.

Gympie traffic police soon caught up with the 46-year-old and found his vehicle was defective, as it had two large cracks in the windscreen which obstructed the driver's viewpoint.

Griffiths was brought before Hervey Bay Magistrates Court yesterday to face a string of traffic charges after being picked up on an arrest warrant.

One of the charges was driving with a body part outside the car window, which referred to Griffiths flipping the bird at the other vehicle.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Nicole Kunkel said Griffiths was also seen yelling abuse and taking both hands off the steering wheel in order to clap at other drivers.

After he was intercepted, police discovered his trailer was not connected to any brake lights and its load was not secured.

In court, Griffiths described the police version of events as "fabricated lies".

"I just don't know where all this has come from. It's bewildered me," he said.

"It was excessive. They were just throwing every thing at me.

"I was going to go against this... but it's not worth fighting it. You just don't win."

Griffiths was fined $473 for the charges and ordered to pay $81.65 in court costs.

Topics:  crime hervey bay magistrates court police road rage

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