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New Road Rules – all road users and bicycles

Centre for Road Safety

From 1 March 2016, drivers will need to give bicycle riders at least 1 metre of space when passing. The changes are all about respecting each other’s space on the road and ensuring that all road users are safe. On average, 11 bicycle riders are killed and 1500 seriously injured in NSW each year.

When the speed limit is above 60km drivers must give bicycle riders at least 1.5 metres of space

From 1 March 2016, drivers who pass a bicycle rider must allow a distance of at least:

  • 1 metre when the speed limit is 60km/h or less
  • 1.5 metres when the speed limit is more than 60km/h

If drivers cannot pass a bicycle rider safely, they should slow down and wait until it is safe to pass the rider, leaving the minimum distance. To help drivers provide the minimum distance, some exemptions to the road rules will apply.

Drivers will be exempt from the following rules, as long as it is safe to pass the bicycle rider with at least a metre of space and they have a clear view of approaching traffic:

  • 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
  • Moving from one marked lane to another across a continuous line separating the lanes

Drivers caught not allowing the minimum distance when passing a bicycle rider face a $319 fine and a penalty of two demerit points.

Bicycle riders over 18 must carry photo ID

From 1 March 2016, all bicycle riders aged 18 and over must carry the required photo identification. This will help riders be identified in an emergency. NSW Police will also be able to ask for identification if they believe a bicycle rider has broken the road rules.

Bicycle riders will have 12 months to adjust to the new law. From 1 March 2017, riders stopped by police for breaking the road rules could face a $106 fine if they do not have the required photo ID.

The required photo ID includes a driver licence or a NSW Photo Card. Already in NSW, more than 90 per cent of adults currently hold a driver licence or 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

Like drivers, the majority of bicycle riders have safety in mind most of the time. The new penalties will only apply to riders who behave dangerously and break the law.

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 from $71 to $425)

Penalties for other bicycle rider offences will also increase from $71 to $106,
including the offence of riding at night without lights.

Bicycle riders should provide pedestrians with a metre of space on shared paths

Bicycle riders are also encouraged to allow pedestrians a metre of space on shared paths, where possible.

Information Courtesy of | roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au

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One Comment on “New Road Rules – all road users and bicycles”

  1. Jim Chadban March 8, 2016 at 8:09 am #

    As a bike Rider and a Driver of Car , Truck and Caravan, I believe these are heading in the right direction, however, some attention must be given to the bike rider’s with more sophisticated equipment, ie. no pedals but use a clip system to hold their feet on the crank. These are the ones that cannot stop and put their foot down at a stop light and so either block traffic by zig -zagging slowly across the lane to maintain their momentum or just go through the light. I observed this yesterday while riding with my Grandchildren, there wer a number of riders involved and they brought the traffic on Hannell Street to a stop, while they made a right turn onto the bike way.

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