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New Bicycle Laws

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Published under Law Reform, News, Offences

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June 6, 2016

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On 1 March 2016 the NSW government brought in new laws that effect both cyclists and motor vehicle drivers.

Under rule 144-1 and 144-2 of the Road Rules 2014, drivers must now leave a one metre gap when passing a cyclist at 60 km/h. When a car is driving 60 km/h or more they must leave a one and a half metre gap when passing a cyclist. If these laws are not obeyed then they will be receiving a $319 fine as well as two demerit points.

However, the government have allowed some reprieve to drivers. They have now exempted drivers from the following rules, providing they have a clear view of approaching traffic and that it is safe to pass the cyclist:

  • 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.

Drivers do not despair, there has also been an increase in fines for cyclists. There has been a large increase on previous fines which where uniform at $71. The fines vary, depending on the offence:

  • Riding without a bicycle helmet: $319
  • Riding through a red traffic light: $425
  • Riding furiously, recklessly or negligently: $425
  • Riding a bicycle that is being towed by a motor vehicle: $319

Further, a very controversial law for cyclist, which has received much criticism is that from 1 March 2017 all cyclist will be fined $106 if they do not have photo ID on them when stopped for breaking road rule. This rule will bring with it many issues, which I am sure will come to the fore once it comes into effect.

About the Author

John is partner of Armstrong Legal and head of the Criminal Law Division. The experience John possesses, being a high quality mix of defence and prosecution skills, together with his team at Armstrong Legal, mean you can be certain of accurate, dependable and practical advice on how your matter can dealt with.

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