Scores of fired-up cyclists have rolled through Sydney's CBD to protest against new NSW Government rules and penalties for bike riders including fines of more than $300 for not wearing a helmet.
The rally on wheels, underway Friday morning, is part of a campaign by NSW cyclists against the new regulations that take effect in March. It follows a similar protest earlier this month.
The new requirements for cyclists include having to carry photo ID and boosted fines, ranging up to $319 for not wearing a helmet, up to $425 for running a red light, and up to $319 for holding onto a moving vehicle.
The full details can be viewed here.
The organiser of the rally, Critical Mass, hit out at the government on Facebook.
Cyclists protest against compulsory introduction of identification for over 18 year old riders from March. pic.twitter.com/uDHzTdoj6i— David Spicer (@DavidSpicerABC) January 28, 2016
"The increase in fines and anti cycling rhetoric is deplorable," it said.
"Whilst the rest of the progressive world embraces cycling as a viable mode of transport, the NSW Government and in particular, the Roads Minister are doing their best to turn people away.
"It's nonsense. If you ride a bike for fun, utility or competitively you know it ... and these new laws punish the rider harder than the drivers."
Cyclists about to set off on a protest ride at higher fines to cyclists as part of new NSW road rules form March 1 pic.twitter.com/Ktuq3ze8CR— Rachel Pupazzoni (@RachelPupazzoni) January 28, 2016
An online petition against the bike helmet penalty increases has so far gained more than 4,500 supporters.
The government says the new rules are needed to improve safety for cyclists, with an average 11 bicycle riders killed and 1500 seriously injured in NSW each year.
The reforms also impose obligations on drivers. They mean motor vehicles that pass a bicycle rider must allow a distance of at least 1 metre when the speed limit is 60km/h or less, and 1.5 metres when the speed limit is more than 60km/h.Suggest a correction