New bike laws in force in NSW
NEW laws affecting cyclists - and motorists who pass them - came into force in NSW today, with fines of $319 for bikers caught riding without a helmet.
Three cyclists have died and 65 left injured after incidents on Tweed Shire roads in the last five years.
During that time, a motor vehicle was involved in 88% of cyclist crashes.
In a bid to prevent further tragedies, the new laws include tighter restrictions for passing cyclists in a motor vehicle, while cyclists face tougher fines for riding without a helmet.
Tweed Shire Council Road Safety Officer Alana Brooks welcomed the changes.
“These new road rules are designed to keep cyclists safe and reduce crashes,” Ms Brooks said.
“If you can’t pass a cyclist safely, be patient and wait until you can leave a safe clearance.”
Of reported Tweed crashes involving cyclists, 20% involved a vehicle hitting a cyclist travelling in the same direction, 17% were at an intersection and 11% involved a vehicle exiting a driveway.
“While we could put a ‘watch for cyclists’ sign at high-risk locations, the reality is cyclists should be expected on all our roads, at intersections, around bends and on pathways and drivers should be on the lookout for them,” Ms Brooks said.
From today, harsher fines will exist for cyclists who break road rules including a new $319 fine for riding without a helmet.
Motorists must also leave the following gaps when passing cyclists:
- 1 metre when travelling at 60kmh or less
- 1.5 metres when travelling at more than 60kmh
When motorists don’t have sufficient space to leave this gap, they can cross the centreline, straddle the lane line or drive on a painted island when safe.
If this isn’t a safe option, motorists must slow down and remain behind the cyclists until it is safe to pass at the required distance.