In March 2016 the NSW State Government introduced larger fines for cyclists who breach the road rules. Since the new fines were introduced the NSW police have issued an increased number of infringement notices as they crack down on cylists. In fact, there has been a 56 per cent increase in the total number of fines issued in the March/April 2016 compared with the same period a year earlier. However, only four motorists were fined for failing to observe the 1-metre passing distance. It is claimed that NSW has some of the toughest cycling laws in the world.
Cycling groups hit social media today to express their disapproval at the increase in the number of fines. They do not agree with the NSW Transport Minister, Duncan Gay, who said the increased policing will decrease the number of cycling accidents.
Bicycle NSW posted this statement on their Facebook page:
We were extremely disheartened to hear from an independent source this morning regarding the statistics on the increased fines & minimum passing distance for March/April 2016. Fines issued to bike riders are up 56% on 2015 and a total of only 4 offences have been issued to drivers for breaching the minimum passing distance in NSW.
Bicycle NSW has initiated a meeting this afternoon with Transport for NSW to meet with Senior Police. Transport for NSW has also invited the Amy Gillett Foundation and Cycling NSW to the meeting. We will be raising the issue of the increase in fines and lack of compliance monitoring of the Minimum Passing Distance at the meeting.
Top Four Reasons For Issuing an Infringement Notice
The top four reasons for issuing an infringement notice in March/April 2016 were:
The fine for not wearing an approved helmet or not wearing it properly is $316.00. It is compulsory to wear a correctly fitted and securely fastened approved helmet when riding a bike in NSW. This applies to all bicycle riders, regardless of age, including children on bicycles with training wheels and any child being carried as a passenger on a bike or in a trailer. An approved bicycle helmet is a protective helmet for bicycle riders of a type that complies with AS/NZS 2063 and has a mark certifying compliance with the above standard. Helmets manufactured after 31 March 2011 must have an identifying mark from a body accredited or approved by the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ) certifying compliance with the above standard. If you have not checked your helmet lately you should visit your local bike store to make sure you have a helmet that complies.
There are only two states in Australia, Victoria, and NSW, who do not permit cyclist over 12 years of age to ride on the footpath. You may have noticed that some footpaths in Lane Cove are shared footpaths. What does that mean?
Shared paths can be used by both pedestrians and bicycle riders. The rules for using a shared path are:
- Keep to the left.
- Give way to pedestrians, slowing down or even stopping if needed.
- Use your bell or horn, if needed, to avoid a collision.
- Be particularly careful around older pedestrians, young children and dogs as they are often unpredictable.
- Always travel at a speed that promotes safety for you and the pedestrians you encounter.
- Keep to the left.
- Move off the path to the left if you wish to stop.
- Keep animals on short leads and under control.
- When walking on a shared path be aware that cyclists can travel much faster and may suddenly appear around a corner or behind you.
You are now required to have a bell and they do have some groovy ones – like this one available at Renegade Cycles.
Creating More Cycleways
One way to stop people riding on the footpath is to create more cycleways. The Lane Cove Bicycle Advisory Commmittee has suggested the following solution:
Changing 65 parking spaces on the east side of Longueville Road into a dedicated separated section of the Lane Cove to Wollstonecraft cycleway that kids could also use to ride to school.
What are your thoughts?
By the way, if you want a good laugh about one man’s quest to get back his $50 fine watch this video
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