Now the NSW Government has announced new rules:and penalties:
- Adult cyclists will be required to carry photo identification. From March 2017, failure to do so will attract a penalty of $106, the same as drivers caught without a licence.
- Drivers will be required to leave a one-metre buffer when overtaking cyclists, and at least 1.5 metres when travelling faster than 60km/h. Penalty two demerit points and a $319 fine
- Penalties for cyclists breaking road rules will be greatly increased. While most offences currently attract a $71 fine, cyclists caught riding without a helmet will now be fined $319, running a red light will incur a $425 fine, riding dangerously a $425 fine, holding onto a moving vehicle a fine of $319 and not stopping at a pedestrian crossing a fine of $425.
According to the New South Wales Director of the Centre for Road Safety Transport Bernard Carlton, the requirement to carry ID was considered an important safety measure. "There's been a big change in cycling and we've got a lot more cyclists on the road who are commuting and cycling for recreation and health," he said. "In New South Wales we have on average around 11 cyclist fatalities every year and 1,500 cyclists are admitted to hospital every year with serious injuries.".
Its all very NSW. I can't see how those casualty figures will be affected by the ID requirement, nor indeed by the increased fines for not wearing a helmet. The increased distance requirement has been welcomed by cycling bodies, although as a driver who is already careful about cyclists my main concern is the risk of breaching it inadvertently if, for example, a cyclist comes within a metre of me or I am trying to pass a cycling pack. The one thing I am reasonably certain of is that the changes are going to further discourage cycling as an activity while adding to police loads.
kvd wondered: "But of more importance, why are there no fines for "lycra'd whilst pudgy" and "cycling with hubris"?" The phrases made me laugh! I especially liked cycling with hubris!