The NSW Governments new ‘Go Together’ campaign will be quite a shock to some Sydney-siders as harsh new penalties have been put in place for motorists and cyclists. So much so that the fines for some particular offences have increased up to 600%.

Here are the details:

From the 1st of March 2016, drivers will need to give bicycle riders at least 1 metre of space when passing:

  • 1 metre when the speed limit is 60km/h or less
  • 1.5 metres when the speed limit is more than 60km/h

The new laws also state that if drivers cannot pass a bicycle rider safely, they should slow down and wait until it is safe to pass the rider, leaving the minimum distance. To help drivers provide the minimum distance, some exemptions to the road rules will apply. Drivers will be exempt from the following rules, as long as it is safe to pass the bicycle rider with at least a metre of space and they have a clear view of approaching traffic:

  • Keep to the left of the centre of the road (two-way road with no dividing line)
  • Keep to the left of the centre of a dividing line – broken and unbroken lines
  • Keep off a flat dividing strip
  • Keep off a flat painted island
  • Driving within a single marked lane or line of traffic
  • Moving from one marked lane to another across a continuous line separating the lanes
    Penalty
  • Drivers caught not allowing the minimum distance when passing a bicycle
    rider face a $319 fine and a penalty of two demerit points.

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Bike riders aged 18+ are now required to carry photo identification as to help with identification during an emergency.  If riders are stopped by police for breaking the road rules they could face another $106 fine if they do not have the required photo ID. Bicycle riders are also encouraged to allow pedestrians a metre of space on shared paths, where possible.

Fines for five offences will increase so that bicycle riders receive the same fines as motorists for high risk behaviour. Increased penalties will apply to bicycle riders who are caught:

  • Not wearing a helmet (up from $71 to $319)
  • Running a red light (up from $71 to $425)
  • Riding dangerously (up from $71 to $425)
  • Holding on to a moving vehicle (up from $71 to $319)
  • Not stopping at children’s/pedestrian crossings (up from $71 to $425)
  • Penalties for other bicycle rider offences will also increase from $71 to $106,
    including the offence of riding at night without lights.

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