Lismore’s Just Ride Cycles shop owner Rachel Sipple.
Lismore’s Just Ride Cycles shop owner Rachel Sipple. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Cyclists forced to carry photo ID in NSW

A SUITE of new laws increasing fines and forcing NSW bike riders to carry photo identification has been cautiously received in the state's cycling fraternity.

Lismore's Just Ride Cycles shop owner Rachel Sipple is among those reserving her judgment until full details emerge about how the new road rules will be enforced.

One aspect she was particularly eager to succeed was the "metre matters" law, forcing drivers to provide a minimum distance of a metre when overtaking a bike rider in a 60kmh zone or 1.5m in faster zones.

"That is a great rule - it's the same as what they've done in Queensland," Ms Sipple said.

"If you have ever ridden on a road, some cars pass way too close.

"When you're on a country road, it's clear and they're still passing too close - that's intimidating."

From March 1, drivers caught flouting the distance rules will be fined $319 and penalised two demerit points.

How it will be policed remains to be seen.

"I want to wait and see how it happens," Ms Sipple said.

"Will you have to stop and take a photo of their number plate?"

Cyclists will face fine increases from the current $71 up to as much as $425 for some offences.

Running a red light, failing to stop at crossings and dangerous riding will attract $425 fines.

Not wearing a helmet or grabbing onto the back of a moving vehicle to hitch a ride will cost riders $319.

Ms Sipple said the vast majority of adult cyclists already carried identification, so the new ID laws should have little impact.

"Cyclists should be carrying an 'ICE', or in case of emergency, card with them anyway so if they fall off people know who to contact," she said.

"But I would like to see the full details on how it will be enforced."

Roads Minister Duncan Gay said the law changes were the result of round-table discussions earlier this year.

"Even with all of these changes in place, which reflect recent changes in other states, I maintain that all road users need to exercise respect when using the road - cyclists, motorists and pedestrians," he said.


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