Duncan Gay, deity in waiting* and Minister for Cars, strikes again.
For a nascent bike blogger, the NSW government really is the gift that keeps on giving.
Three days before Christmas, at the start of a week when many people are already on holidays and perhaps a little less attentive to new legislation, The NSW Minister for Cars has introduced his grand vision for getting more people on more bikes more often.
“… Mr Gay's roads lobby is to Australia what the gun lobby is to the US; the diehard bastion of last century's speed-and-aggression mindset.”
Elizabeth Farrelly, SMH
One of the biggest hurdles cyclists face is their undeservedly poor reputation amongst drivers and pedestrians. Duncs has decided the best way to counter the general misconception regarding the behaviour of a number of taxpaying commuters who just happen to ride a bike is to increases fines for cyclists by ~500%.
Not a wearing helmet (from $71 to $319)
Running a red light (from $71 to $425)
Riding dangerously (from $71 to $425)
Holding onto a moving vehicle (from $71 to $319)
Not stopping at children’s/pedestrian crossing ($71 to $425)
Riding without a bell ($106)
And the increase which seems to generate most of the red-hot emotion;
Not producing government-issued photo ID when requested ($106).
Like that won’t reinforce the perception that it’s the cyclists who are the problem here.
Gaylorde Focker has managed to implement his rejected Bicycle Registration scheme under the guise of concern for the safety of cyclists. The carrot meant to distract us from all these sticks is the introduction of a trial fixed distance passing law, bringing us into line with the other Australian States – terrific - except under the new proposal, penalties for driving too close to a rider are set to fall to a lower penalty than under current law.
A motorist caught driving in a bike lane would be fined $177, while a motorist driving in a bus lane cops a fine of $319. Let’s just have a little think about the respective vulnerabilities of buses and cyclists.
NSW Police already have the power to require any person, be they a scum-bag cyclist or pedestrian or motorist or dog-walker to provide their name and address. Have there been swarms of cyclists pulled over and giving their name as McLovin of 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney, riding off chortling to themselves? God, I hope so.
No wonder the NSW Police motorcyclists have started chasing down cyclists and pushing them off their bikes.
*Remember this piece of hubris? http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/newsmaker-duncan-gay-20150903-gjeolx.html