Upcoming changes to road rules - 1m Matters + ID + Fines


Ultimately I think the passing laws for motorists are probably going to be positive.

The ID one is one of those kinds of ideas that are really bad in principle but in practice actually won't really change anybodies riding experience. Most people are carrying their wallet when they ride. So meh.

The new fines are hilarious.

I don't mind applying 1m matters to shared paths. No need for people to transfer the inconsiderate behaviors sometimes shown to them by motorists on to pedestrians, and yet I see it happen. Practically it might be difficult or impossible to give 1m on some of the shared paths around the place, but I suspect this is the kind of law that only gets applied when contact is made (how many motorists in states with 1m matters have been fined in incidents where no contact was made with a cyclist?). The importance here is the message which makes it clear that cyclists need to be responsible for more vulnerable users of shared spaces, I'm fine with that.

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hmm, seems Duncan gay has tightened his security from the real world. I mailed john sidoti's office to ask for an appointment and was told all matters for this role now need to go through the minister's office and you have to fill in a lobbyists form so it can be published.

I don't lobby for any group but filled it in and hoping for an appointment to be granted.

Bicycle Network is getting fairly hairy chested on the issue, from their newsletter.
"The announcement was truly a shocker. It included:

All adult bike riders must carry an official government photo ID card
A 500% increase in fines for bike riders, while at the same time lowering the fine for drivers driving too close to a bike rider
The cost of the card for people without a NSW drivers licence is $51. If you lose it you are up for $24 for a replacement. If you change address you have to notify authorities within 14 days or face fines up to $2200.

But the good news is that these oppressive regulations won’t hit until 1 March 2016. They can be challenged in Parliament and in the Courts. And in the court of public opinion. .."

They too are suggesting contacting your Mp and writing to Baird.

BNSW is also adamant that the new fines are unjustified and they will be working to get them reviewed, pointing to practical difficulties on the photo ID as well.

Ray Rice's letter  is not bad at all.

I shall forward to MP along with thanks for good stuff as mentioned in earlier post.

At the same time I shall point out the problems poor and homeless people will face with the ID and disproportionate fines, and ask that he try to persuade the Minister to put those measures in the bin.

I'll do the same to Jamie Parker, who was a big promoter of the one metre law but is quiet on the fines now.

I guess we should also tackle Jodi McKay, Alp shadow roads minister I think. Is that your MP, Dabba?

No Bob, I think she's in Strathfield.  Mine's Yasmin Catley for Swansea.

Jamie Parkers office replied
I am writing on Jamie's behalf as he is away from his email for the next few weeks.

I think it is fair to say that Jamie agrees with the BNSW position. I've copied below the email that Jamie sent on Tuesday to people on our database who had previously signed the One Metre Matters petition.

I am anticipating that Jamie will follow up with the Leichhardt Local Area Commander both before and after the March implementation date regarding the enforcement issues/concerns that you noted. Jamie will also be working closely with other Greens MPs and councillors to get better outcomes for cyclists..."

He did email the people who signed his one metre petition.

Yes, it pretty much the first thing I've ever seen BV(N) write that I agreed with!

Evidently they have moved away from the 'equal fines for cyclists and motorists will bring about respect on our roads' guff they were spouting when they campaigned for bigger cycling fines in Victoria. Maybe they have realised cyclists actually didn't get any more respect...

This really is a shocker, and I'll write my letters and do my protesting, but I am ultimately pessimistic. Baird has a nice guy image, but ultimately he's a conservative ideologue who seems quite happy to give Gay free reign. There are Liberal votes in bashing cyclists, remember. 

Gay is of course a Nationals member and sits in his easy chair there because it has been traditional to give the Nationals a Roads portfolio.  Previous attempts to bring the organisation to heel under TfNSW have all failed.  The political will has not been there to see it through with the Nationals.  Also rather weak Transport Ministers who struggle with the rest of their portfolio.  Baird has to directly feel the heat to his image and future success to make a change.  Gay has to become a real liability.  That's our challenge.

Maybe those Duncan plugs were a good idea.


Pretty bad guaranteeing a roads portfolio to a member for a non-public transport constituency.

As others have pointed out, I think that it's just BN trying to make millage against BNSW as they continue their push into NSW. I don't think they've changed at all. 

Totally. During the College St crisis BNV posted this on their facebook.

Throughout the campaign, though, they were no where to be seen. They didn't do anything before or after the announcement the cycleway was going to be demolished. They used one of the biggest retrograde acts by the state government as an opportunity for political point scoring against their opposition, rather than see us as all being on the same side trying to fight for better conditions for people that ride bikes.

This page has also been edited since it was first published in July this year. It used to contain the following:

Helmets are a proven injury prevention tool in Australia and Bicycle Network actively supports efforts around the nation to normalise helmet use, and backs police in their use of warnings and infringement notices.

So why is compliance so bad in Sydney?

One reason could be that beleaguered cycling organisation, Bicycle NSW, has been wishy-washy on helmet policy. In 2013 Bicycle NSW moved to get the helmet rules watered down:

  • "Bicycle NSW recommends that a review is held to determine the net benefit of the mandatory helmet laws in Part 15 (Additional rules for bicycle riders) of the Australian Road Rules. If no significant benefit is found, Bicycle NSW recommends that the law is revoked if not entirely, then at least for adult bicycle users.
  • Bicycle NSW recommends that riders using bikeshare bicycles be exempt from the mandatory helmet laws in Part 15 (Additional rules for bicycle riders) of the Australian Road Rules.”

That has always been their modus operandi, they are empire builders who will prioritise their own interests (more growth, more members, more money) than prioritise the interest of their members or their potential members. I see no reason to believe that has changed now. 

Depressingly, I tried to engage the 5-6 commuters at my work today to write to Baird, Gay and their local members about this attack on cycling and they all told me they supported the changes with the usual "if you don't break the law you won't get fined" BS. Talk about Stockholm syndrome. 


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