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New bicycle laws introduced for all road users and cyclists in NSW

Elise Grist | 25 March 2016 | Traffic Offences

As of 1 March 2016, new bicycle laws apply to all road users and cyclists in NSW. Drivers, bicycles riders and pedestrians all need to “Go Together” safely on our roads.

Importantly, drivers who pass a bicycle rider must allow a distance of at least 1 metre when the speed limit is 60km per hour or less; and at least 1.5 metres when the speed limit is greater than 60km per hour.

If it is not safe to pass a bicycle rider, a driver must slow down and wait until it is safe to do so. Provided that drivers have a clear view of approaching traffic, and it is safe to pass the bicycle, drivers will be exempt from the following rules to allow the 1 or 1.5 metre distance:

  • Keep to the left of the centre of the road (two-way road with no dividing line);
  • Keep to the left of the centre of a dividing line - broken and unbroken lines;
  • Keep off a flat dividing strip;
  • Keep off a flat painted island;
  • Driving within a single marked lane or line of traffic; and
  • Moving from one marked lane to another across a continuous line separating the lanes.

The penalty for not allowing the required distance when passing a bicycle is two demerit points and a $319 fine.

Bicycle riders over the age of 18 must also carry photo identification. This will assist in an emergency situation, or if NSW Police believe a bicycle rider has broken the road rules. Bicycle riders have 12 months to obtain photo identification, and after 1 March 2017 any bicycle rider not carrying photo identification could face a $106 fine.

Other fines have significantly increased for bicycle riders, so that they now receive the same fines as motorists for high risk behaviour, such as:

  • Not wearing a helmet (now $319, previously $71);
  • Running a red light (now $425, previously $71);
  • Riding dangerously (now $425, previously $71);
  • Holding on to a moving vehicle (now $319, previously $71);
  • Not stopping at children's/pedestrian crossings (now $425, previously $71); and
  • Penalties for other bicycle rider offences, such as riding at night without lights, are now $106, previously $71.

If you need assistance or information in relation to the new bicycle laws, or any other traffic matter, we can help you. Contact us on 02 4926 6000.

Information for this article was sourced from Transport for NSW - http://roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au

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