The NSW government made $33,000 yesterday from cyclists fined for not wearing helmets in Sydney

Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty

Not wearing a helmet has turned into a nice little earner for the NSW government after police launched a one-day crackdown on cyclists in Sydney yesterday.

Operation Pedro saw traffic and highway patrol officers in the CBD and surrounding suburbs hand out more than 200 infringement notices to cyclists, including 103 for not wearing a helmet.

The figure is less than half of a similar crackdown in February, before new rules for cyclists were introduced by the Baird government on March 1.

Under the changes, the fine for not wearing a helmet was increased by around 350% from $71 to $319, meaning the fines handed out yesterday generated nearly $33,000 for NSW government coffers.

A further 24 cyclists were fined $425 for disobeying traffic lights, 38 fined for other offences and 28 for riding on the footpath, while 53 cyclists were issued with cautions or warnings.

Assistant commissioner John Hartley said operation Pedro was about education and raising awareness for all road users to save lives.

Police also issued 224 traffic infringement notices to motorists, up roughly 10% on the 205 issued in February, while 43 pedestrians were also pinged for offences.

Police said they were “pleased to see a higher level of compliance by cyclists” during a one-day operation.

Two cyclists have died on NSW roads so far this year, one less than the same time last year, with seven dying in total in 2015.

So far in 2016, 200 people have died on NSW roads, compared to 160 in the same period last year.

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