On 21 December 2015 the NSW Government, Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight announced new rules to be introduced from 1 March 2016 affecting cyclists, motorists and pedestrians.
The rationale behind the new laws are to reduce the average 11 bicycle riders that are killed and 1500 seriously injured in NSW each year.
Bicycle riders over 18 must carry photo ID
From 1 March 2016, all bicycle riders aged 18 and over must carry photo identification. If you don’t have a driver licence, you can apply for a NSW Photo Card. A 5-year NSW Photo Card costs $51. A NSW Photo Card is issued free of charge for eligible concession holders, people who receive a Centrelink Carer Allowance and NSW Seniors Card holders. The Roads and Maritime Services website has full details on the NSW Photo Card.
Increased penalties for cyclists
Fines for five offences will increase so that bicycle riders receive the same fines as motorists for high risk behaviour. Increased penalties will apply to bicycle riders who are caught:
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 $71 to $425); and
Penalties for other bicycle rider offences will also increase from $71 to $106, including the offence of riding at night without lights.
Whilst not an enforceable law, bicycle riders are also encouraged to allow pedestrians a metre of space on shared paths, where possible.