New South Wales government’s new road safety laws penalizes cyclists like motorists
Dec 23, 2015 06:40 AM EST
The local government of Australia's New South Wales has implemented a new law that comes with stricter regulations for cyclists in the state. Under the new law, bicycle riders will be required to carry identification cards with them at all times and violators will face the same fines as vehicle drivers.
The conditions of the new law were formally laid out by Duncan Gay, NSW's road minister. According to Business Insider Australia, the new set of regulations is part of the state's Go Together program which aims to create a safer environment for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. The new law was passed earlier this week but it will be implemented in March next year.
As explained by Gay, cyclists over the age of 18 years old will have to carry an identification card with them as well as a driver's license every time they ride. Failure to comply will result in a fine of AUD106 or around USD76.
Aside from this, fines for existing cycling laws will also be increased starting next year. Originally, these penalties were set at AUD71 or USD51 but under the new law, the fines will be increased to match those imposed on motorists in the state.
For instance, those caught not wearing a proper helmet will face a fine of AUD319 or USD230 while the fine for beating a stop light will be AUD425 or USD307, The Motor Report has learned.
In addition, when riding in a path with pedestrians, cyclists will have to maintain a one-meter distance between their bicycles and people. Likewise, when on the road, cars travelling over 60 kilometers per hour must leave a gap of 1.5 meters for cyclists. Drivers who fail to follow this rule will receive two demerit points as well as a fine of AUD319 or USD230.
The conditions of the new law were welcomed by many especially since the state has a high rate of road accidents each year. According to The Guardian, an average of 11 bicycle riders die while 1,500 are injured annually in NSW due to accidents.