NSW Government ditches proposed laws to force bike riders to carry ID
The New South Wales Government has backpedalled over controversial laws that would have fined cyclists for not carrying identification.
The Government was going to impose the changes, including a penalty of more than $100 for bike riders who did not comply with the rule, from March 2017.
It initially proposed to implement the changes from March of this year, before delaying the date and then ditching the changes altogether.
But Roads Minister Duncan Gay said cyclists would instead be “encouraged” to carry emergency contact cards, which he said struck the “right balance between safety and convenience”.
It comes after cyclists staged a protest ride through Sydney earlier this year against the ID laws and planned increases to fines.
Bicycle Network chief executive Craig Richards said he was relieved the Government had seen sense.
“New South Wales would have been the only place in the world where it would have been compulsory for bike riders to carry identification,” he said.
“It would have discriminated against one class of people.”
Mr Gay, who had previously been accused of waging a war on cyclists, has now appeared to have buried the hatchet.
“I think there’s been a greater appreciation from the cyclists for what I’ve been trying to do, and certainly sitting down and listening to their concerns we’ve been able to address a lot of issues,” Mr Gay said.
But he added the Government would not be backing down on other controversial changes, including substantial increases to fines.
“We don’t want to raid their pockets, we want to save their lives. The best way not to pay the fines is to stick to the rules,” he said.
The Government has already more than doubled the amount of money it has collected in cyclists’ fines since penalty increases were introduced.