Saturday, November 21, 2009

New Laws: Rogue cyclists face harshest ever fines and even jail

So, Sometimes, I think that we have it bad, we cyclist I mean. You know with the getting hit by cars, things thrown at us, constantly yelled at. I think the Australians, may have it worse. I hope this doesn't happen here, but if it does, I am sure all the folks who leave negative comments about cyclist on our local rants and raves or any of the local news stories, will be absolutely ecstatic!!

New Victorian cycling laws that came into effect on June 18th sets jail terms for rogue cyclists and fines of more than $68,000!

With the huge surge in people taking up cycling in the last five years, rogue bike riders who believe they don’t have to obey the road rules have given their fellow cyclists a bad name and made it difficult to earn the respect and courtesy of other road users.
Now under the new laws now in place cyclists face the exact same road rules for motorists should they fail to stop after an accident or are guilty of careless or dangerous riding.

New penalties for cyclists
Hit or run resulting in serious injury or death: 5 years jail or up to a $68,052 fine or both
Dangerous riding: 12 months jail, or up to a $13,160 fine or both
Careless riding: $681 for first offence, $1361 for subsequent offences
Riding through a RED light: $224 (law now opperative)
$284 or seven days' prison if property is damaged by a cyclist and the rider does not immediately stopp and offer assistance

According to some internet searching, this all came about because of one ride. The "Hell Ride". Below, is just one person's opinion, so this is not factually, but it does make sense.

It's pretty much come about because around three years ago an old guy got killed by a cyclist on the "hell ride". The hell ride is an informal saturday morning hammerfest down to the peninsula that can get a pretty big peleton of up to a couple of hundred riders. There aren't too many traffic lights to deal with, but if a light happens to change, cyclists would continue through it as part of the pack as stopping could cause a nasty pileup, or cause them to get dropped. Anyway, this old guy saw the lights change and stepped out into the middle of the pack.

I feel sorry he died, but it was a foolish thing to do, he saw that the cyclists weren't about to stop and walked anyway. Also, I think it was selfish for the cyclists to hold everyone up so that they didn't have to catch up.

So, after that happened a lot of people on bikes copped abuse, which is weird because so many pedestrians get killed by cars but people don't randomly yell at car drivers being killers (except maybe at Critical Mass or something).

And, of course, they've now taken action to increase the penalties for "rogue" cyclists. I find it hard to believe anyone will go to prison for dangerous riding, just like very few people go to jail for white collar crimes. I think it's just there in case something really full-on happens.

The bell thing is stupid. I always ride with a bell (and use it often), so it doesn't affect me but it's still a bit rough, you can still yell warnings louder than any bell. If you're mute and don't have a bell, then maybe....

Again, I hope this doesn't happen, but you never know, it just might. We all know that motorist hate us, some act out on it, some don't. They all think that we are in the way though. We as cyclist have done some grass roots things, trying to help our cycling brothers and sisters, well, it looks like the other side of the fence, is doing the same thing.

til next time,


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

great post. I would love to follow you on twitter.

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