Key things to know for March 1 2016

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.

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2 thoughts on “Key things to know for March 1 2016

  1. HI. WONDERING IF ALL OR SOME OF THE LAWS APPLY TO THE M7 SHARED BIKE/PEDESTRIAN TRACK THAT MOTORIZED VEHICLES HAVE NO ACCESS TO ?
    AND THE BELL RULE, HAVE YOU EVER HAD ANY MEMBERS PINGED FOR NOT HAVING ONE ?
    THANKS JOHN

    • Hi John. I am not a lawyer but my guess is that the M7 shared user path would be considered a road related area and would be governed by the road rules. Police have been stopping riders in the city over the last two weeks and warning them about the need for a bell. My guess (again) is that it would be unlikely for a rider to be booked for simply not having a bell BUT that if you were pulled over for another offence and you didn’t have a bell that this would be added to your list of misdemeanours and your tally of fines. Elaena

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