You have to carry ID to ride a bicycle in NSW from March 1

Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Cyclists aged over 18 in New South Wales are expected to carry photo ID when they’re out riding from today, March 1, under new rules introduced by the Baird government.

The fines for a range of offences are also increasing by up to 600% as part of a new safety program introduced by NSW roads minister, Duncan Gay.

The penalty for not wearing a helmet increases from $71 to $319, along with holding onto a moving vehicle, while riding at night without lights increases from $71 to $106.

A number of other offences jump 500% to $425 – the same penalty for motorists, who also receive 3 demerit points – such as running a red light, not stopping at a pedestrian crossing and riding dangerously.

Under the new rules, bicycle riders should also keep a metre’s distance from pedestrians on shared paths, where possible.

Failure to carry ID will lead to a $106 fine from March 2017, with the government offering a one year amnesty as the new laws are bedded down.

Last Thursday, police issued more than 450 infringement notices to cyclists in Sydney’s CBD in a major safety crackdown, including 210 for not wearing helmets, 103 for disobeying traffic lights, and 80 for riding on the footpath. Another 64 cyclists received cautions or warnings.

The changes are part of a new safety program, which also will expect motorists to maintain a 1-metre distance from a cyclist when passing at speeds of 60km/h or less, and 1.5 metres at speeds over 60km/h. Failure to keep the minimum distance when passing a bicycle rider is a $319 fine and a two demerit points penalty.

Here’s an explanation of the new rules for motorists.

* Clarification: While Transport for NSW website says:

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.

there has been some dispute over whether ID is required now or not.

A spokesperson for the minister told Business Insider that “there is more than a year before new laws are put in place for ID. Appropriate regulations and/or legislation will be made closer to March 2017.

“The next 12 months is about getting cyclists used to carrying ID, primarily to ensure family members can be notified if there is a crash and to help emergency services staff provide the best medical support they can.

“We encourage cyclist to carry driver licences, passports or Service NSW issued ID cards. However, to make it easier, a photo on your mobile phone or a clear photocopy is also okay.”

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