NSW 1 metre passing distance + increase cyclist fines

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NSW 1 metre passing distance + increase cyclist fines

Postby AUbicycles » Mon Dec 21, 2015 2:35 pm

Full details are included and with all of the anti-cyclist sentiment from Duncan Gay who publicly supported bicycle registration and banning cyclists from certain roads, there is good and bad in the following announcement.

The good news, NSW also gets the Minimum 1 metre safe passing distance for less than 60kmh and 1.5 metres for over 60 kmh traffic. This is a positive step forward and the Queensland trial shows that it is working, not for enforcement rather for road user education. The enforcement component is a backup law which can help bike riders hit by motorists though may also led to fines for infringing motorists if the cyclist is persistent and the police willing.

The bad news - depending how you see it, or the sneaky news is that fines against cyclists are being significantly increased. It can be argued that a cyclist should not break the law, a very real and valid argument and I personally, and on behalf of Bicycles Network Australia encourage cyclists to abide by the laws which includes wearing a helmet and stopping at red lights. To challenge this I suggest taking action to petition the government to change laws, rather than ignore the laws which is counterproductive.

For the rise in fees, the open question is whether it is appropriate. In context, I have checked the motor vehicle driver fine for passing through red lights which is $425, so means that a bike rider would face the same fine.

A plus point is an education campaign - it certainly depends how it is introduced so if it is anything like the failed stoner sloth campaign we are in for trouble.


source: http://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/media-r ... ty-package

Minister for Roads Duncan Gay today announced a new cycling package to improve safety for all road users in NSW, developed in consultation with key stakeholders and government bodies.

“Earlier this year I committed to and held a roundtable to discuss cycling issues,” Minister Gay said.

“I received recommendations on these issues – and the changes we’re making are about striking a balance for everyone on the roads and footpaths.

“Even with all of these changes in place, which reflect recent changes in other states, I maintain that all road users need to exercise respect when using the road – cyclists, motorists and pedestrians.”

Initiatives in the new package start in March next year and include:

Introducing a new rule requiring drivers to leave a minimum distance when passing bicycle riders – at least one metre when travelling up to 60km/h and at least 1.5 metres when travelling faster than 60km/h, which will attract a penalty of $319 and two demerit points.
Increasing penalties to help improve safety on our roads for bicycle riders who are:
Not a wearing helmet (from $71 to $319)
Running a red light (from $71 to $425)
Riding dangerously (from $71 to $425)
Holding onto a moving vehicle (from $71 to $319)
Not stopping at children’s/pedestrian crossing ($71 to $425).
Making it compulsory for adult riders to carry photo ID so that they can be identified in an emergency or if they break the road rules.
Introducing a new safety advisory recommendation for bicycle riders to provide a minimum distance of one metre when passing pedestrians on a shared path, where practical.
To educate road users about these changes, a new road safety campaign – ‘Go Together’ - has been developed.

The road safety initiatives promoted in ‘Go Together’ were developed in consultation with NSW Police, cycling groups, the Motor Accidents Insurance Regulator, NRMA Motoring and Services and the Pedestrian Council of Australia.

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NSW 1 metre passing distance + increase cyclist fines

Postby yugyug » Mon Dec 21, 2015 2:53 pm

There is no justification for increasing the fine for not wearing a helmet from 71 dollars to 319 dollars. That's insane.

In the recent public hearing for the senate inquiry on bicycle helmets, the VicRoads representative was questioned to the rationale for Victoria's similar increase a few years ago. She could not explain it, and the transcript for that hearing outlines the reasons why it is a very bad idea, not least because the law itself is very questionable.

The general increases of other traffic offenses like running red lights, to match those for motor vehicles are also not warranted - bicycles are not cars! Cyclists don't use an engine and don't weigh greater than one tonne, and don't have the same history for causing injury, death and property destruction.

The new requirement to adult cyclists to carry ID is also worrying and troublesome for numerous reasons related to the above, and others especially as it concerns police profiling and barriers to cycling for older teenagers and younger adults.

These are on the whole a terrible batch of laws. Sure, we get passing laws the police are able to more or less choose not to enforce, and in return we get crippling and outrageous fines and penalties that further deincentivise cyclists-yet-to-be.
Last edited by yugyug on Mon Dec 21, 2015 2:59 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: NSW 1 metre passing distance + increase cyclist fines

Postby tubby74 » Mon Dec 21, 2015 3:46 pm

yugyug wrote:The general increases of other traffic offenses like running red lights, to match those for motor vehicles are also not warranted - bicycles are not cars! Cyclists don't use an engine and don't weigh greater than one tonne, and don't have the same history for causing injury, death and property destruction.

The new requirement to adult cyclists to carry ID is also worrying and troublesome for numerous reasons related to the above, and others especially as it concerns police profiling and barriers to cycling for older teenagers and younger adults.

a punishment needs to correspond to the cost of the crime to the community. A bike and rider weighing maybe 100kg going through a red light at 15km/h clearly does not carry the same risk as a car running a red light. By the logic we see here we should be looking at mandatory life sentences for littering as well,
The requirement to carry ID is just further erosion of the sense of casual freedom we have on a bike. when it's 10 to 3 and time to go meet my kid at school I can't just open the door and go so easily, I might as well join the hoards of others driving badly to school.

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Re: NSW 1 metre passing distance + increase cyclist fines

Postby il padrone » Mon Dec 21, 2015 3:50 pm

tubby74 wrote:a punishment needs to correspond to the cost of the crime to the community. A bike and rider weighing maybe 100kg going through a red light at 15km/h clearly does not carry the same risk as a car running a red light. By the logic we see here we should be looking at mandatory life sentences for littering as well,
The requirement to carry ID is just further erosion of the sense of casual freedom we have on a bike. when it's 10 to 3 and time to go meet my kid at school I can't just open the door and go so easily, I might as well join the hoards of others driving badly to school.

A cyclist making a calculated decision that, with no traffic approaching, they will be safe to roll off and cross the intersection at 1-15kmh is even less of a public risk. :|
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Re: NSW 1 metre passing distance + increase cyclist fines

Postby westab » Mon Dec 21, 2015 5:00 pm

With Red lights - put plainly I don't run them with one exception in the last 5 years. This is near my mates place where there area set of lights that are in a low traffic area. On a Saturday morning at 6:35am when I am riding there are no cars on the road I am on and none on the road I am turning onto - and the lights don't pickup to bike. So usually I wait about 1 min check for any cars, bikes, or other traffic and ride on through.

My question is what the hell am I supposed to do? - I don't want to get booked for that amount of money (nor can afford it)

Do I :

Complain every week rather than twice a year to the RMS to get them fixed? and ride through.

Just ride through (is there a loop hole about not being picked up by the sensor).

Complain to the local Police to see if they can get them fixed (or at least not book me when Boofhead Gay announces the bike blitz on March 2nd) :roll:

Walk across the intersection until the broke State Government increases to fines for jaywalking.

But in all seriousness is there a clause in the road laws allowing for "broken" traffic signals to be ridden through after stopping and if safe to do so?
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Re: NSW 1 metre passing distance + increase cyclist fines

Postby Howzat » Mon Dec 21, 2015 5:17 pm

Excessive and unreasonable penalties make bad laws.

This is either gross legislative incompetence, or a clumsy political effort to dissuade people from riding bikes.

Or in Drunken Duncan's case, both.

I'm an NRMA member and I'm calling them to question their support for this. I won't be calling the "Pedestrian Council of Australia" because it doesn't bloody well exist
Last edited by Howzat on Mon Dec 21, 2015 6:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: NSW 1 metre passing distance + increase cyclist fines

Postby Boognoss » Mon Dec 21, 2015 5:27 pm

My thoughts on this are that the 1-1.5 metre rule is great.

All of the rest are created by a mentally-challenged dinosaur politician that is appeasing the bogan-motorist hordes. Hi Alan Jones!! I'll continue riding the way I always do (mostly within the law - always with helmet, regularly not dying on busy peak roads by using the footpath, etc).

As long as my license or ID isn't required to be stuck to my rear-end and enlarged I should be OK ;).
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Re: NSW 1 metre passing distance + increase cyclist fines

Postby il padrone » Mon Dec 21, 2015 5:36 pm

Howzat wrote:I support MHLs and don't buy Il Padrone's light-running arguments, but excessive and unreasonable penalties make bad laws.

I saw (and did not speak out enough about) the impacts of MHLs where I worked in 1990. I counted the direct impact in terms of teenager reduction in cycling to school - 300 regular cyclists became just 19, in a 3 month period, and stayed that way for many years, never returning to the previous levels. I continue to speak out more today.

As for the red lights - well we made the choice to ride through a couple of red lights last week - about 12.15am and 1am, when the light sensors did not detect our bikes, no traffic within coee. It is a system that is biased, by design, against the less dangerous form of transport, to ensure traffic flow (read: motor traffic has continuous priority).
Last edited by il padrone on Mon Dec 21, 2015 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: NSW 1 metre passing distance + increase cyclist fines

Postby GAV!N » Mon Dec 21, 2015 5:38 pm

I love it how all the major news retailers (print/net/TV) are advertising this as 'Cyclists face big new fines' as the headline, and not at all focusing on the 1/1.5m rule. Should I be surprised? No...

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Re: NSW 1 metre passing distance + increase cyclist fines

Postby timbo » Mon Dec 21, 2015 5:40 pm

In theory, break the road rules and all road users should be fined. In practice, as a cyclist, sometimes I break the road rules as a matter of survival (riding on footpath etc) as the roads are just not safe for cars, buses and bikes to share.
As for rider ID, well its better than cycle registration and rego plates on back of bikes, and perhaps cyclists should have more accountability. I just hope there is a simple ID system in place for people who don't have a motor vehicle license (the generally accepted photo ID).

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Re: NSW 1 metre passing distance + increase cyclist fines

Postby il padrone » Mon Dec 21, 2015 5:55 pm

Yes, the NSW Minister for Trucking has instituted a very nice system for those on lower incomes - you get to pay $51 to the gubbmint to provide yourself with an ID card :roll:

All part of the system, folks.
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Re: NSW 1 metre passing distance + increase cyclist fines

Postby warthog1 » Mon Dec 21, 2015 6:52 pm

westab wrote:With Red lights - put plainly I don't run them with one exception in the last 5 years. This is near my mates place where there area set of lights that are in a low traffic area. On a Saturday morning at 6:35am when I am riding there are no cars on the road I am on and none on the road I am turning onto - and the lights don't pickup to bike. So usually I wait about 1 min check for any cars, bikes, or other traffic and ride on through.

My question is what the hell am I supposed to do? - I don't want to get booked for that amount of money (nor can afford it)

Do I :

Complain every week rather than twice a year to the RMS to get them fixed? and ride through.

Just ride through (is there a loop hole about not being picked up by the sensor).

Complain to the local Police to see if they can get them fixed (or at least not book me when Boofhead Gay announces the bike blitz on March 2nd) :roll:

Walk across the intersection until the broke State Government increases to fines for jaywalking.

But in all seriousness is there a clause in the road laws allowing for "broken" traffic signals to be ridden through after stopping and if safe to do so?


My CF roadie with CF wheels simply will not trigger many induction loops (or whatever they are called)
This is also the only time I ride through the red. I will argue my case should it come to it.
I agree with the comments regarding public risk of a 100kg object travelling at 5-15 km/h. Unfortunately we live in a very stupid and selfish country and that won't wash with the mindless, car driving, talk back radio listening, newscorp reading, hordes. :roll:

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Postby Thoglette » Mon Dec 21, 2015 6:57 pm

il padrone wrote:All part of the system, folks.


Young folk of today look at me funny when I say "thought we'd fixed this in 1987"when asked to present my driver's licence for non-driving IDs
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Re: NSW 1 metre passing distance + increase cyclist fines

Postby The Fixer » Mon Dec 21, 2015 7:12 pm

I will probably just park my bikes and stop riding (after over 50 years).

Populist, anti-cyclist BS.
I don't care if it's a $20 Huffy or a $20k Colnago, as long as you're riding, and you're happy.

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Re: NSW 1 metre passing distance + increase cyclist fines

Postby tubby74 » Mon Dec 21, 2015 7:20 pm

The Fixer wrote:Populist, anti-cyclist BS.


so you've met Duncan?

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Re: NSW 1 metre passing distance + increase cyclist fines

Postby find_bruce » Mon Dec 21, 2015 7:27 pm

Very disappointing, if not unexpected by Duncan Gay. Will Police do a better job enforcing 1 m than the pathetic efforts in Qld?

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Re: NSW 1 metre passing distance + increase cyclist fines

Postby Mulger bill » Mon Dec 21, 2015 7:57 pm

Thin end of the wedge, and you know where it's being inserted.
Victoria has had penalty equivalence for years, ostensibly to help foster respect, guess how that's gone?

Dunc has had it in for riders for years and he's just managed to implement stage one.
Too many riders are too quick to say Yay, we've had a small (and unlikely to be enforced) win; without considering the tradeoffs.
All this acceptance will do is lubricate stage two insertion...
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Re: NSW 1 metre passing distance + increase cyclist fines

Postby g-boaf » Mon Dec 21, 2015 8:08 pm

warthog1 wrote:
westab wrote:With Red lights - put plainly I don't run them with one exception in the last 5 years. This is near my mates place where there area set of lights that are in a low traffic area. On a Saturday morning at 6:35am when I am riding there are no cars on the road I am on and none on the road I am turning onto - and the lights don't pickup to bike. So usually I wait about 1 min check for any cars, bikes, or other traffic and ride on through.

My question is what the hell am I supposed to do? - I don't want to get booked for that amount of money (nor can afford it)

Do I :

Complain every week rather than twice a year to the RMS to get them fixed? and ride through.

Just ride through (is there a loop hole about not being picked up by the sensor).

Complain to the local Police to see if they can get them fixed (or at least not book me when Boofhead Gay announces the bike blitz on March 2nd) :roll:

Walk across the intersection until the broke State Government increases to fines for jaywalking.

But in all seriousness is there a clause in the road laws allowing for "broken" traffic signals to be ridden through after stopping and if safe to do so?


My CF roadie with CF wheels simply will not trigger many induction loops (or whatever they are called)
This is also the only time I ride through the red. I will argue my case should it come to it.
I agree with the comments regarding public risk of a 100kg object travelling at 5-15 km/h. Unfortunately we live in a very stupid and selfish country and that won't wash with the mindless, car driving, talk back radio listening, newscorp reading, hordes. :roll:


Nor does mine trigger them regularly. So you have to break the law by rolling through slowly after watching for traffic. Or walk across the pedestrian crossing.

I think the laws are BS. Don't want any of them.

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Re: NSW 1 metre passing distance + increase cyclist fines

Postby il padrone » Mon Dec 21, 2015 8:11 pm

The Fixer wrote:I will probably just park my bikes and stop riding (after over 50 years).

Populist, anti-cyclist BS.

I will leave the licence and other ID at home, and may well soon take to riding helmetless.

Comment from Michael O'Reilly
Mandatory helmet law?
"An unjustified and unethical imposition on a healthy activity."

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Re: NSW 1 metre passing distance + increase cyclist fines

Postby Mulger bill » Mon Dec 21, 2015 8:13 pm

il padrone wrote:
The Fixer wrote:I will probably just park my bikes and stop riding (after over 50 years).

Populist, anti-cyclist BS.

I will leave the licence and other ID at home, and may well soon take to riding helmetless.

And then demand to have the matter dealt with via the courts rather than the TIN system?
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: "Papers, Comrade!"

Postby il padrone » Mon Dec 21, 2015 8:33 pm

Thoglette wrote:
il padrone wrote:All part of the system, folks.


Young folk of today look at me funny when I say "thought we'd fixed this in 1987"when asked to present my driver's licence for non-driving IDs

At least the Australia Card was going to be free of charge :roll:
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Re: NSW 1 metre passing distance + increase cyclist fines

Postby warthog1 » Mon Dec 21, 2015 8:42 pm

il padrone wrote:
The Fixer wrote:I will probably just park my bikes and stop riding (after over 50 years).

Populist, anti-cyclist BS.

I will leave the licence and other ID at home, and may well soon take to riding helmetless.

Comment from Michael O'Reilly

Good article, I like his stance and it's good to have at least one advocate in the media.
This bit was good;
But back to the matter of a metre. In Queensland and other states, a lot of people questioned whether it was possible to judge that distance when passing. I can help you with that.

All cyclists on our roads are human beings with loved ones.

Simply imagine the rider you're trying to overtake is your loved one - your child, your sibling, your parent. I'm sure you'll find yourself leaving a safe distance.

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Re: NSW 1 metre passing distance + increase cyclist fines

Postby AUbicycles » Mon Dec 21, 2015 9:30 pm

Interesting comments in a SMH article.
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/cyclists-forc ... lsfo6.html


"We needed some way of identification and enforcement ... suggestions including licences and registration were rejected by the committee," Mr Gay said.
"In the end we came to a consensus. That is better than being at war when going ahead."


We should thank Bicycle NSW as I know they were part of the round-table. Strangely they were not allowed to discuss the proceeding, though Duncan Gay seemed to have an exception so rules of not making comments on the round-table discussions did not apply to him.

If we recall that Duncan Gay had called for registration and also make rapid laws on petrol powered bikes which caught most people unaware, I think cyclists have not been targeted as much as was initially intended by the department which is reducing its cycling infrastructure expenditure and is openly against cyclists. In other words, it could have been worse.

Timing is also interesting, very difficult for people to protest. I agree that the rate of increase is unbelievable though most regular cyclists do comply. What it could do is shock some people away from cycling, not necessarily those who call themselves cyclists, but ride a bike.


A very interesting thought - cyclists are required to carry identification. Does this apply to minors? And does it provide the police justification to stop a cyclist to check their identification. I am sure that it doesn't (rather it should be for the event of a collision that the cyclist has ID) but there is scope to manipulate and meaning that cyclists could be targeted for spot ID checks.

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Re: NSW 1 metre passing distance + increase cyclist fines

Postby yugyug » Mon Dec 21, 2015 9:31 pm

Mulger bill wrote:
il padrone wrote:
The Fixer wrote:I will probably just park my bikes and stop riding (after over 50 years).

Populist, anti-cyclist BS.

I will leave the licence and other ID at home, and may well soon take to riding helmetless.

And then demand to have the matter dealt with via the courts rather than the TIN system?


Yep. As a mostly helmet-less rider, if these fines go ahead I can see myself in court before the end of 2016. I don't mind paying 71 bucks once or twice a year, that much, but 319 is outrageous. No big deal, challenge the law, front up to court, more people should do it.

It'll be interesting if its for helmet or ID though, I can't see myself offering my ID to a cop even if I'm carrying it. And I cautiously wondering if there is a legal or even constitutional challenge possible for that requirement.

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Re: NSW 1 metre passing distance + increase cyclist fines

Postby yugyug » Mon Dec 21, 2015 9:37 pm

AUbicycles wrote:Interesting comments in a SMH article.
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/cyclists-forc ... lsfo6.html

We should thank Bicycle NSW as I know they were part of the round-table.


No we shouldn't thank BNSW at all - they have made a disgraceful cock-up. They do little to distinguish themselves from their worse competitor BN(V).

Bicycle NSW chief executive Ray Rice said he was pleased with the package of changes, particularly the introduction of the minimum passing distance.
The increased fines and requirement for identification, Mr Rice said, would not have a huge affect on cyclists as 90 per cent already carried identification and 70 per cent already wore helmets.


I'm utterly appalled that our state's peak advocacy body's CEO has such a piss-poor attitude to, at least, 30% of our state's cyclists, and seems to have no understanding of the deterrent effect MHL already has. Its 2015, wake up already!

A very interesting thought - cyclists are required to carry identification. Does this apply to minors?


No it doesn't:
http://roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au/ ... index.html

Your thoughts about police profiling are probably correct. I can't see how the police wouldn't use this new ID law to unfairly persecute the low-income disadvantaged - because we have already seen that as a result of MHL from Australia and around the world.

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