From Bicycle NSW
New laws and increased penalties will come into effect for motorists and bike riders in New South Wales on 1 March 2016.
One we welcome – the minimum passing distance. On the others, we continue to question and challenge the Government in regard to their proposed positive impacts for bike rider safety while continuing to push for improved cycling infrastructure to increase rider safety.
In the meantime, as the Calendar ticks over to March 1 – what are the key things for you to be aware of in regard to maximising the safety of cyclists and minimising the impact on your wallet as a driver and a rider?
1. Minimum Passing Distance
Drivers must give bicycle riders at least a metre of space when the speed limit is 60km or less; and 1.5 metres when the speed limit is more than 60km/h.
To help drivers provide the minimum distance, some exemptions to the road rules will apply (click here for full information from the NSW Centre for Road Safety).
The penalty for drivers caught failing to give the minimum distance will be a $319 fine and the loss of two demerit points.
2. Increased Fines for Bike Riders:
Fines for the five offences below will increase significantly for bicycle riders as of March 1 2016.
Not wearing a helmet (up from $71 to $319)
Running a red light (up from $71 to 425)
Riding dangerously (up from $71 to $425)
Holding on to a moving vehicle (up from $71 to $319)
Not stopping at children’s/ pedestrian crossings (up from $71 to $425)
Penalties for other bicycle rider offences will also increase from $71 to $106 – which also includes riding without a working warning device, eg a bike bell.
3. Compulsory Photo ID (Drivers Licence/ NSW Photo ID/ Passport etc)
According to a media release issued by the office of Duncan Gay (Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight) – “the requirement for bicycle riders to produce photo identification when stopped by police who suspect they have committed an offence will start in 2017”.
The release further states that “The next 12 months is about education and getting cyclists to start carrying identification…”.
As we have previously voiced, we disagree with many aspects of the Government’s approach. Despite this, we want to ensure all of our members and supporters are aware of the current state of play and how it will stand as of 1 March 2016.