New helmets laws introduced for cyclists

Bicycle retailer supports new helmet laws

FROM this time next week, road users will have to be a whole lot more careful if they want to avoid a hefty fine.

A raft of new rules for bicycle riders comes into force across NSW on Tuesday, which will include a requirement for people over the age of 18 to carry photo ID and see the fine for not wearing a helmet rise from $71 to $319.

Riding dangerously and not stopping at pedestrian crossings will now cost cyclists $425, while motorists overtaking bicycle riders must allow a distance of a metre, or a metre and a half if travelling over 60kmh.

Transport Minister Duncan Gay has said the rules will help ensure everyone stays safe, but some Clarence Valley residents think they may have gone too far.

Part-owner of Grafton City Cycles Nathan Beard talks about updated bicycle laws in cluding harsher fines for not wearing a helmet.
Part-owner of Grafton City Cycles Nathan Beard talks about updated bicycle laws in cluding harsher fines for not wearing a helmet. Adam Hourigan

Grafton City Cycles co-owner Nathan Beard said some of the new laws seemed a bit excessive, but agreed with heavier penalties for not wearing a helmet.

He said a number of people who did not want to take the chance had already come in and bought head protection due to the increased fine.

"It's a good thing to force people to get helmets which may save lives, and as long as everyone knows the rules it's okay," he said.

"(The new ID rule) seems like a bit of revenue raising but it's not going to affect many avid cyclists.

"We generally carry ID with us and a bit of cash to go to coffee shops, but ... if someone is struggling and they get pinched it may tip them over the edge."

Part-owner of Grafton City Cycles Nathan Beard talks about updated bicycle laws in cluding harsher fines for not wearing a helmet.
Part-owner of Grafton City Cycles Nathan Beard talks about updated bicycle laws in cluding harsher fines for not wearing a helmet. Adam Hourigan

State Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis said he could understand both sides of the argument in relation to carrying ID, which can be a driver's licence or NSW photo card, but said he didn't think it was a big ask.

"What it's about, as far as I can tell, is ensuring police have correct information if you break the law, but if you are involved in an accident they will also have contact details and can find out immediately what you might be allergic to," he said.

"I do think people will criticise us for being the nanny state but if it saves lives so be it.

"I think all road users really need to be responsible and meet obligations."



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