Petition is successful with 10,684 signatures
To: Mike Baird MP
A cost too high for Cyclist Safety
We submitted this petition with more than 10,000 signatures to NSW Parliament.
It has been put forward as a motion and will be debated.
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Dear Mike Baird MP,
Just four days before Christmas the NSW Minister for Roads, Duncan Gay MP, announced changes to road rules and enforcement which will affect bicycle riders of all ages and abilities.
The new rules will require drivers to leave a minimum distance when passing bicycle riders – at least one metre when travelling up to 60km/h and at least 1.5 metres when travelling faster than 60km/h. We support this change, which will bring NSW in line with the majority of States and Territories in Australia.
However, the trade-offs that Minister Gay introduced as part of the ‘package’ are completely unacceptable to the general community. They include:
1. Increasing penalties for bicycle riders for:
- Not a wearing helmet (from $71 to $319)
- Running a red light (from $71 to $425, 500% increase)
- Riding dangerously (from $71 to $425, 500% increase)
- Not stopping at a pedestrian crossing ($71 to $425, 500% increase)
2. Making it compulsory for adult riders to carry photo ID at all times.
These changes are unnecessary and draconian, and will eventually lead to reducing numbers of bicycle riders in NSW. As such, it contravenes the NSW Government’s commitment to double the mode share of cycling by making ‘bike riding a convenient and enjoyable option that benefits everyone.’ Sydney’s Cycling Future (2013)
Bicycle fines increasing by 500% is inequitable
Fines will increase by up to 500%, far more than any other State or Territory. The penalties will allegedly ‘equalise’ bicycle riders with motor vehicles. But bicycles are not the same as motor vehicles, for example:
- Most bicycles can’t trigger a standard vehicle signal at an intersection, and if the rider uses a pedestrian-push button they are then required to walk their bicycle across the intersection.
- Many bicycle riders feel unsafe turning right at a major intersection, as it requires them to stand in the middle of fast moving traffic in both directions. For this reason, the road rules allow riders to make a ‘hook turn’ at ANY intersection in Australia. This manoeuvre, while safer, take twice as long to execute a right-hand turn.
- Most fully-loaded bicycles weigh less than 150kg, a tenth the weight of a small car. A motor vehicle causes far more damage, to other people and property, than a bicycle.
Mandatory photo ID creates unnecessary red tape
No other State or Territory in Australia has this requirement:
- It is an infringement of civil liberty and adds unnecessary red tape.
- Not everyone has a Drivers Licence or NSW Photo Card. Not even sail boat operators are required to carry ID.
- The cost of an RMS issued photo card is $51 and requires a visit to an RMS service centre and documentation to be provided. What will interstate and overseas visitors do? What will happen to people who ride across the border between Tweed Heads and Coollangatta, or Albury and Wodonga?
- How will a 17 year old ‘prove’ they are under 18? Although they will not be required to carry ID, mistakes will occur.
We request that the NSW Government immediately rescind the proposed fine increases and mandatory photo ID for bicycle riders in NSW.
All Bicycle Riders who will ride in NSW, now and in the future.
Why is this important?
The NSW Government is introducing changes to road rules and enforcement that will affect anyone who visits NSW as a tourist, visitor or new resident. It will also set a dangerous precedent for other States and Territories to follow.
The changes include bicycle helmet fines of $319; and bicycle infringements equivalent to motor vehicles (such as $425 for riding through a red light or pedestrian crossing). Even more alarming is the requirement for any adult on a bicycle to carry a drivers licence or NSW photo ID (cost $51) at all times, even tourists. The fine for not carrying photo ID will be $106.
The NSW Government says this is a simple change to the road rules. However, it sets a precedent for other community ‘groups’ to be singled out and forced to carry ID.
Please sign this petition asking the Premier of NSW to stop these changes from going ahead. The letter, and all of the signatories of this petition, will be delivered to Mike Baird MP, Premier for NSW, on 16 February 2016 when Parliament resumes.
We need as many signatures as possible. Please sign this petition, and consider writing to your local state MP asking them to support you.
This petition has been underwritten by the following organisations (contact us to add yours):
Australian Cycle Alliance http://cycle.org.au
Bicycle New South Wales http://bicyclensw.org.au
The Australian Cyclists Party https://australian-cyclists-party.org
Bicycle Network https://www.bicyclenetwork.com.au
Cycling Promotion Fund http://www.bikeoz.com.au/index.php/cycling-promotion-fund
Freestyle Cyclists http://www.freestylecyclists.org
Newcastle Cycleways Movement http://newcastlecycleways.org.au
Pedal Power ACT http://www.pedalpower.org.au
Dulwich Hill Bicycle Club http://www.dhbc.org.au
I Love Sydney Bike Lanes & Cycleways https://www.facebook.com/ILoveSydneyBikeLanes
Cell Bikes http://www.cellbikes.com.au
Orange BUG http://bicyclensw.org.au/join/affiliation/bugs/nsw-west
Dubbo BUG http://dubbobug.org.au/
Art Cycle Inc http://www.artcyclesydney.com
Coffs Harbour BUG http://www.coffsbug.org.au
Albury Wodonga Pedal Power Inc https://sites.google.com/site/awpedalpower
Eurobodalla BUG http://eurobodallabug.blogspot.com.au
Central Coast BUG http://ccbug.net
Bike Marrickville http://www.bikemarrickville.org.au
Bike Leichhardt http://leichhardtbug.ning.com
Ashfield Bicycle Group http://www.ashbug.org.au/
Canada Bay BUG http://baybug.org.au/
Sydney Spokes http://www.sydneyspokes.com/
How it will be delivered
This letter will be delivered to the Premier of New South Wales on Tuesday 16 February, by Bicycle NSW and representatives of the bicycle user groups who have undersigned this petition.