How much should traffic fines be

Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy

How much should traffic fines be

Postby mikesbytes » Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:57 pm

Fines are a punitive punishment for not complying with Australian and or state traffic laws.

Whether we agree or disagree with the law is not what this discussion is about, what I'm discussing is what the severity of the fine should be.

Laws are put in place to manage and protect.

I'm sure there's a thread going about the latest Telegraph cycling article where yet another angle has been applied to discredit cyclists thru the argument that fines are uneven. For example;
Motorists running red lights face penalties of $405 and three demerit points, while cyclists face a $67 fine


So I'm thinking what are the perceived factors that should determine the severity of the penalty, for example;
  • Personal risk to the offender
  • Risk to other road users and pedestrians
  • Inconvenience to others (noisy exhaust, having to brake, etc)
  • Environmental impact
A helmet saved my life
User avatar
mikesbytes
Super Mod
Super Mod
 
Posts: 14822
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:42 pm
Location: Tempe, Sydney

by BNA » Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:15 pm

BNA
 

Re: How much should traffic fines be

Postby human909 » Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:15 pm

It is long establish in law in Australia and across the world that the punishment is proportional to the severity of the crime and the need for deterrence. Having different laws and punishments for pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, truck drivers, train drivers, aeroplane pilots is common place.

It only becomes an issue in the vindictive climate of cyclist hate.

In Victoria BV has the bright idea to support the increasing of fines to cyclists. :roll: Funnily enough it hasn't resulted in road harmony. The only thing that it has resulted in is cyclists riding through Carlton Gardens being hit with bigger fines than motorists who run over cyclists. :evil:
human909
 
Posts: 4871
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:48 am

Re: How much should traffic fines be

Postby g-boaf » Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:37 pm

I agree with higher fines for cyclists. Should be double.

Then motorists can shut their mouths about the issue of cyclists not paying enough.
User avatar
g-boaf
 
Posts: 4055
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:11 pm

Re: How much should traffic fines be

Postby Tornado » Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:38 pm

human909 wrote:It is long establish in law in Australia and across the world that the punishment is proportional to the severity of the crime and the need for deterrence.


So the govt. believes that a cyclist running a red light is less of an issue than a motorist. Considering the difference in damage one could do with a car vs a bicycle it makes sense. It's just the upset of motorists that isn't proportional.
Image

2012 Avanti Giro 3
2003 GT Palomar
User avatar
Tornado
 
Posts: 294
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:25 am
Location: Mandurah WA

Re: How much should traffic fines be

Postby Baldy » Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:11 pm

It should be the same whatever amount that might be.

Bikes are considered to be vehicles, no one expects a smaller fine for running a red in a tiny Barina than a F250 ute. Or a 40kg teen vs 120kg adult cyclist for that matter.

Trucks need some extra incentive partly because they are almost exclusively used as commercial vehicles. And their size/weight of course but the biggest threat to other road users from trucks are the actions of other road users around trucks.
Baldy
 
Posts: 1669
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 4:55 pm

Re: How much should traffic fines be

Postby Strawburger » Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:28 pm

I think the marketing people should spend money on explaining to the public what it means to break a rule or law. Most of the hatred comes from ignorance
n=10 (2013 & 2004 roads,2010 track,2x 2009 foldups,1990 hybrid,1992 trainer,2007 rental,1970's step through,1980's zeus)
User avatar
Strawburger
 
Posts: 1233
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 12:19 pm
Location: Dulwich Hill, Sydney

Re: How much should traffic fines be

Postby lobstermash » Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:31 pm

I think there should be some discretion in the size of the fine. If a cyclist is running a red and endangers other vulnerable road users (like other cyclists and pedestrians), they deserve the same fine as a motorist. If they're endangering their own idiot self by playing chicken with cars, or just being plainly disobedient running through an empty intersection, they should still be fined but with a lesser penalty. Speeding fines should be equivalent to motor vehicles.

For non-traffic related stuff, like helmets, bells and reflectors etc., the fines are adequate, if not a little harsh or silly IMO.
Passing on your right - me, said just about never...
lobstermash
 
Posts: 985
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:51 pm
Location: Canberra

Re: How much should traffic fines be

Postby biker jk » Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:38 pm

Baldy wrote:It should be the same whatever amount that might be.

Bikes are considered to be vehicles, no one expects a smaller fine for running a red in a tiny Barina than a F250 ute. Or a 40kg teen vs 120kg adult cyclist for that matter.

Trucks need some extra incentive partly because they are almost exclusively used as commercial vehicles. And their size/weight of course but the biggest threat to other road users from trucks are the actions of other road users around trucks.


I don't get your argument. A bike going through a red light is going to do a lot less damage to another motorist/pedestrian/cyclist than a car.

Don't get me started on truck drivers. :x
User avatar
biker jk
 
Posts: 2670
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:18 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: How much should traffic fines be

Postby rebilda » Fri Sep 20, 2013 4:30 pm

Yes. I saw that article in the paper (left it at the Barber Shop in disgust)

I must say, I don't really get the angle. It's almost like the Telegraph is looking for ANYTHING to throw out there to incite an "Us & Them" mentality (motorists, Bogans knuckledragging UFC fans...etc V's Cyclists)

An argument over who gets fined more for going through a red light? Just how much damage can a rider do with a 10kg bike, by comparison to a 1500kg motor vehicle? The speed difference is also going to be a stark contrast by comparison, however, surely no one should be actually going through red lights in the first place, and I would have it that a cyclist is undoubtedly going to come off 2nd best in the case of a collision. The exception would be if the rider clips a pedestrian, to which I would argue that the cyclist deserves to be made a harsh example of (that poor old guy being killed in Melb springs to mind).

What is BNSW saying about this then??? ...............I hear the crickets chirping
My Garage = Restored Paino - the "Fixie" - Giant Trance X2 - Azzurri Forza Pro Di2 - GT Avalanche 1 & 2
User avatar
rebilda
 
Posts: 250
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:08 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: How much should traffic fines be

Postby human909 » Fri Sep 20, 2013 4:50 pm

Baldy wrote:Bikes are considered to be vehicles

No. Bicycle are considered to be bicycles under the road rules. Cars are motor vehicles. Your notion that bicycles are considered the same as cars under the law is plainly false.

Baldy wrote:no one expects a smaller fine for running a red in a tiny Barina than a F250 ute. Or a 40kg teen vs 120kg adult cyclist for that matter.

Seriously. WT??

Baldy wrote:Trucks need some extra incentive partly because they are almost exclusively used as commercial vehicles. And their size/weight of course but the biggest threat to other road users from trucks are the actions of other road users around trucks.

I like your mental gymnastics.

g-boaf wrote:Then motorists can shut their mouths about the issue of cyclists not paying enough.

No, their mouths won't close. They'll continue to complain that cyclist can't be identified and thus don't get fined, along with the 1000 other things cyclists are 'guilty' of. :roll:
human909
 
Posts: 4871
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:48 am

Re: How much should traffic fines be

Postby Baldy » Fri Sep 20, 2013 5:17 pm

I never said anything about the legal definition. But the facts are cyclists are supposed to follow the same road rules as other vehicles in nearly all cases.

The Op mentioned size being a factor in determining the amount a fine should be based on potential damage. Maybe you were not paying attention.

Play the topic.....mate.
Baldy
 
Posts: 1669
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 4:55 pm

Re: How much should traffic fines be

Postby il padrone » Fri Sep 20, 2013 5:57 pm

Pedestrians?

So the state government should be able to make a massive jump in finances by fining every one of the hundreds...... nay, thousands of CBD pedestrian red-light runners and stinging them $405 each time they do it. Fair's fair, they're so dangerous. Go to it PC Plod :wink:


BTW, they threw up this ever-present criticism too.

Daily Terrorgraph wrote:Image
No helmet for this female cyclist on Bourke St. Surry Hills


Pretty typical scene in most cities in Europe, North America, Asia, yada, yada.......... No it isn't actually, neither would be wearing the helmet.


Daily Terrorgraph wrote:Mr Stuart said the often poorly patronised bike paths clogged vital road links and were poorly designed ''looking like miniature Berlin walls that create a divide on the roads''.

"There are plenty of overseas examples of better designed bike paths that are easier to build, cheaper, just as safe and easier for drivers," he said.


Like this Mr Stuart ?? Guess what.... no parking at all along these "examples of better designed bike paths". Yep, go for it I reckon.

Image
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
User avatar
il padrone
 
Posts: 18444
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:57 pm
Location: Heading for home.

Re: How much should traffic fines be

Postby Mulger bill » Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:51 pm

Ignore perception and work off fact. Basing any legislation or enforcement regime on what people think is a problem will invariably lead to poor results as everybodies opinion is coloured by their own biases.

I have no problem with people doing the illegal being pinged but I detest it when enforcement (and media coverage) is selective. Bust one, bust all.

Let the punishment fit the crime.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
User avatar
Mulger bill
Super Mod
Super Mod
 
Posts: 25820
Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2006 2:41 pm
Location: Sunbury Vic

Re: How much should traffic fines be

Postby Baldy » Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:05 pm

"A Transport for NSW spokeswoman said the law stipulates a bicycle is a vehicle and required to obey the road rules, including stopping at red lights."

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/n ... 723158156#
Baldy
 
Posts: 1669
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 4:55 pm

Re: How much should traffic fines be

Postby skull » Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:12 pm

Baldy wrote:"A Transport for NSW spokeswoman said the law stipulates a bicycle is a vehicle and required to obey the road rules, including stopping at red lights."

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/n ... 723158156#


Yep

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/ ... ml#vehicle
"vehicle" means:
(a) any description of vehicle on wheels (including a light rail vehicle) but not including any other vehicle used on a railway or tramway, or
(b) any description of tracked vehicle (such as a bulldozer), or any description of vehicle that moves on revolving runners inside endless tracks, that is not used exclusively on a railway or tramway, or
(c) any other description of vehicle prescribed by the statutory rules.
User avatar
skull
 
Posts: 1676
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:48 pm

Re: How much should traffic fines be

Postby KenGS » Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:19 pm

Baldy wrote:"A Transport for NSW spokeswoman said the law stipulates a bicycle is a vehicle and required to obey the road rules, including stopping at red lights."

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/n ... 723158156#

The law also stipulates the current level of fines so end of discussion
--Ken
Helmets! Bells! Rego!
User avatar
KenGS
 
Posts: 1455
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:31 pm
Location: Rosanna, Victoria

Re: How much should traffic fines be

Postby Baldy » Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:46 pm

KenGS wrote:
Baldy wrote:"A Transport for NSW spokeswoman said the law stipulates a bicycle is a vehicle and required to obey the road rules, including stopping at red lights."

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/n ... 723158156#

The law also stipulates the current level of fines so end of discussion


The discussion is not a question about what are the current levels. It's about what we think they should be.

I'm not giving a number, I just believe that we legally have equal right to use the road so any penalty should also be equal.

The size argument doesn't cut it with me. Drivers also crash into immovable objects all the time while trying to avoid hitting animals, so making yourself a road hazard you are putting others at risk.
Baldy
 
Posts: 1669
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 4:55 pm

Re: How much should traffic fines be

Postby g-boaf » Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:44 pm

il padrone wrote:Pedestrians?

So the state government should be able to make a massive jump in finances by fining every one of the hundreds...... nay, thousands of CBD pedestrian red-light runners and stinging them $405 each time they do it. Fair's fair, they're so dangerous. Go to it PC Plod :wink:


They'd make a fortune doing pedestrians for walking against the red light and jaywalking. Unfortunately, there would be furore over that and Harold Scruby would be raging about it until he ran out of breath, or rather, his fax machine wore out from over-use.
User avatar
g-boaf
 
Posts: 4055
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:11 pm

Re: How much should traffic fines be

Postby human909 » Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:05 pm

Baldy wrote:I just believe that we legally have equal right to use the road so any penalty should also be equal.

How does our 'right' to travel in public space have anything to do with the penalty impose for illegal actions? :?:

Baldy wrote:The size argument doesn't cut it with me. Drivers also crash into immovable objects all the time while trying to avoid hitting animals, so making yourself a road hazard you are putting others at risk.

Yep, bikes are as dangerous as cars. You heard it hear first! :wink:


Personally I have only ever recieved on road fine in my life. So I'm not too concerned personally. But changing laws based on public bigotry is not a good idea. The existing laws differentiating the offences of cars and bicycles are in line with established philosophy of law, aka the 'punishment should fit the crime'.
human909
 
Posts: 4871
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:48 am

Re: How much should traffic fines be

Postby high_tea » Sat Sep 21, 2013 5:44 am

Depends how you look at a fine. On one level, it's really a fee to avoid going to court. Looked at that way, the riskiness of the conduct and so on isn't an issue. Same offence, same court-avoidance fee - not a bad idea. People who want to argue the toss about such things can court-elect.

Of course, a lot of people don't look at it like that; witness the repeated claims that breaching the road rules is a "traffic offence", whatever that's supposed to mean. Nope, it's a regular low-grade criminal offence, just you can pay to not have it treated as such if you're of a mind.

Bit of trivia: you can go to gaol in Qld for travelling without a train ticket! How's that for proportionality?
high_tea
 
Posts: 1267
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:10 pm

Re: How much should traffic fines be

Postby exadios » Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:51 am

high_tea wrote:Depends how you look at a fine. On one level, it's really a fee to avoid going to court. Looked at that way, the riskiness of the conduct and so on isn't an issue. Same offence, same court-avoidance fee - not a bad idea. People who want to argue the toss about such things can court-elect.

Of course, a lot of people don't look at it like that; witness the repeated claims that breaching the road rules is a "traffic offence", whatever that's supposed to mean. Nope, it's a regular low-grade criminal offence, just you can pay to not have it treated as such if you're of a mind.

Bit of trivia: you can go to gaol in Qld for travelling without a train ticket! How's that for proportionality?


Another way to look at it is as a guilty plee with a manditory penalty.
User avatar
exadios
 
Posts: 476
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2007 1:07 am
Location: Melville, WA

Re: How much should traffic fines be

Postby high_tea » Sat Sep 21, 2013 11:09 am

exadios wrote:
high_tea wrote:Depends how you look at a fine. On one level, it's really a fee to avoid going to court. Looked at that way, the riskiness of the conduct and so on isn't an issue. Same offence, same court-avoidance fee - not a bad idea. People who want to argue the toss about such things can court-elect.

Of course, a lot of people don't look at it like that; witness the repeated claims that breaching the road rules is a "traffic offence", whatever that's supposed to mean. Nope, it's a regular low-grade criminal offence, just you can pay to not have it treated as such if you're of a mind.

Bit of trivia: you can go to gaol in Qld for travelling without a train ticket! How's that for proportionality?


Another way to look at it is as a guilty plee with a manditory penalty.


Nope. Paying the fine and not court-electing means that no conviction will be recorded, to name but one important difference.
high_tea
 
Posts: 1267
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:10 pm

Re: How much should traffic fines be

Postby Ross » Sat Sep 21, 2013 4:09 pm

I agree with Baldy. Cyclists should incur the same penalty as motorists for breaking laws. Only exception would be a child, whatever age a "child" is deemed to be.

Bicycle riders can't pick and choose when they are classed as "just a bicycle" or a "vehicle" just on a whim to suit themselves. My view is if they ride on the road they are a vehicle and in a perfect world (of course it isn't but dreams are free!) they should be treated fairly and equally - this includess application of the law as well. It is not relevant to say a bike does a lot less damage if it collides with something/somebody after going through a red light or Stop sign. As Baldy said, a small 4cyl car driver doesn't pay any less of a fine than a Hummer driver. A moped rider pays the same fine as a Harley Davidson. Rego is different of course but that's another topic that's been discussed in depth in other threads.

Yes, pedestrians should be fined the same amount as well.

Human909, I have to disagree with your views on this subject.
Image
User avatar
Ross
 
Posts: 3763
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 7:53 pm

Re: How much should traffic fines be

Postby mikesbytes » Sat Sep 21, 2013 5:45 pm

Interesting in that we have divided views on this, the pattern I'm seeing;
- fines the same for all road users including pedestrians
- fines in accordance to the risk that mode of transport (including pedestrians) presents
- differential within a class of transport unworkable (Large motorbike vs scooter)

I'm for fines being in accordance to the mode of transportation, no variation between class as too hard to administer.

So those who agree with me, what should the differential be between the modes of transport say;
- Foot, ie Pedrestrian's
- Non motorised - bicycles, skateboards, roller blades etc
- All motorised

I seem to have avoided electric bicycles :wink:
A helmet saved my life
User avatar
mikesbytes
Super Mod
Super Mod
 
Posts: 14822
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:42 pm
Location: Tempe, Sydney

Re: How much should traffic fines be

Postby trailgumby » Sat Sep 21, 2013 7:24 pm

What stinks? Daily Telegraph coverage of cyclists :lol:

Here is a picture of those lawless, red-light running cyclists on Sydney CBD's under-utilised bike lanes.

Image
"People have a right to their own opinions, but not their own facts. Evidence must be located, not created, and opinions not backed by evidence cannot be given much weight." -- James W Loewen

http://www.facebook.com/Drive2WorkDay
User avatar
trailgumby
 
Posts: 10309
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 4:30 pm
Location: Northern Beaches, Sydney

Next

Return to Cycling Safety and Advocacy

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: human909, outnabike



Popular Bike Shops
Torpedo 7 Torpedo7 AU
Ground Effect Ground Effect NZ
Chain Reaction Cycles CRC UK
Wiggle Wiggle UK
Ebay Ebay AU

“Bicycles BNA Twitter
“Bicycles BNA Facebook
“Google+ BNA Google+
“Bicycles BNA Newsletter

> FREE BNA Stickers
> BNA Cycling Kit