Cyclists and motorists share an uneasy relationship on our roads, which NSW Minister Duncan Gay is attempting to change with a new package of laws.
The laws, which come into effect today, make it compulsory for adult cyclists to carry photo identification while riding or face fines of $106 (the same amount drivers have to pay if caught without a license). The fine for riding without a helmet will increase 350 per cent to $319.
Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, Greens transport spokeswoman Dr Mehreen Faruqi pointed out that the new helmet fine was almost double the fine for driving in a bike lane.
The laws will impact on drivers, who could lose two demerit points and be fined $319 for driving closer than one metre when passing a cyclist, and 1.5 metres when travelling over 60km/h.
Other measures introduced today bring fines for cyclists in line with those paid by car drivers: being caught running a red light will now will see you fined $425, as will riding dangerously and not stopping at a pedestrian crossing.
The compulsory minimum distance of one metre for drivers has been trialled in Queensland, Canberra and South Australia, with positive results. There will be a grace period of 12 months for cyclists caught riding without a photo ID, with the penalty to be introduced permanently in March 2017.
Updated on March 1