Impact of new laws for cyclists and drivers


As we reported last week in our Wayfinding Blog, “New fines for cyclists could see bikes dumped for cars”, there are many changes to road rules affecting cyclists and motorists, effective today.

Here we outline the crux of these;

New laws for drivers passing cyclists

Drivers in NSW must leave one metre of space when passing a cyclist in speed zones of 60 km/h or less.  As recently reported in the SMH, drivers must leave at least 1.5 metres in high speed zones.

How does this rule affect the situation where a cyclist and a car meet near dividing lanes or dividing strips?  If it is safe to do so, drivers can cross “centre dividing lines to overtake a cyclist”.  Motorists can also drive on painted islands and dividing strips to pass a bicycle, if it is safe to do so.   If it is not safe, a driver must slow down and wait until there is enough space to pass.  Cyclists are advised to “leave sufficient room to avoid a collision”, when passing cars.

A breach of this law could see motorists facing a $319 fine and a penalty of two demerit points.

A trial of these laws has been in place in Queensland since April 2014.  Similar measures were recently implemented in the ACT and South Australia.

Fines for cyclists

According to the SMH some cycling offences will rise by as much as 500% from the previous standard fine of $71.

Riding through a red light will see a penalty of $425, as will not stopping at a children/pedestrian crossing and riding dangerously.

Riding without a helmet or holding onto a moving vehicle will attract a fine of $319.

The debate about cyclists carrying ID

The government announced on Friday “the requirement for bicycle riders to produce photo ID when stopped by police who suspect they have committed an offence will start in 2017.  The next 12 months is about education and getting cyclists to start carrying ID”.

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