New laws requiring cyclists to carry ID when riding in New South Wales came into force today, reigniting a fierce debate about the rights and responsibilities of motorists and cyclists as they share the road. From March next year, cyclists without ID will be fined $106.
While roads minister Duncan Gay say it’s part of a greater emphasis on safety, the onus has fallen mostly on cyclists, who now face fine increases of up to 500%, meaning they can end up paying almost as much for riding on a footpath – a “dangerous riding” offence – as a motorist driving more than 20km/h over the speed limit.
Gay, who’s previously called himself “the biggest bike lane sceptic in the government”, has been at loggerheads with Sydney lord mayor Clover Moore over separated lanes for cyclists in the CBD, concerned that they remove street parking. He’s pushing ahead to remove the College Street bike lane.
Two years ago, Gay floated the idea of licences for cyclists and banning them from some roads and requiring permits for others as a way of dealing with a spate of cyclist deaths.
The Liberal government’s laws were grist for the mill of Victoria’s Labor premier, Daniel Andrews, pondering aloud how long before the government starts handing out “floaties” on Australia’s most famous beach.
Lockout laws. Compulsory IDs for cyclists. Next they'll be handing out floaties at Bondi beach. https://t.co/NWYM6HmwAD
— Daniel Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) March 1, 2016