We’ve taken the first steps to address the imbalances in enforcement, evident from 1 March, by initiating open and honest conversations with NSW Police. The meeting orchestrated by Bicycle NSW was held on Monday 23 May with senior members of Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW) and NSW Police. The key concerns of bike riders were presented in regard to the recent surge in cyclist fines and the lack of enforcement of the Minimum Passing Distance.
Key outcomes and steps are:
- Police have agreed to publicise pedestrian/bicycle compliance campaigns in advance – as they do for other campaigns (eg Speeding; Drink Driving etc). This will be combined with education on bicycle safety and regulations.
- All parties agreed that better and increased publicity and education on the Minimum Passing Distance (MPD) would increase the safety of vulnerable road users, and that compliance monitoring is still required. Police have agreed to run publicised compliance campaigns on MPD and to evaluate new technology to help monitor compliance.
- Importantly, Police have agreed to review video evidence of possible MPD offences. Signed statements will be required. We note the challenges of providing proof beyond reasonable doubt.
- Police have agreed to meet with representatives of cycling clubs to discuss bicycle safety and compliance issues.
Bicycle NSW CEO Ray Rice said “Although not unexpected, we were extremely disheartened to hear of the steep imbalances with the release of statistics yesterday on the increased fines and minimum passing distance. It further emphasises the need for open and honest dialogue which we’ve been able to facilitate. The outcomes will remain to be seen but we’ll continue to press for the positive steps agreed by all parties above.”
Bicycle NSW pressed for this meeting at our March Board meeting, attended by the top executives of TfNSW. Representatives from the Amy Gillett Foundation and Cycling NSW also attended yesterday’s meeting at the request of TfNSW.
At the board meeting it was recognised and agreed by both Bicycle NSW and TfNSW that cyclists need to obey all road rules. It was also recognised by all parties that the more that people are positively encouraged to cycle – the better the outcome for all road users in NSW, particularly in Sydney. The positive outcomes being better journey times for all and the underlying health and environmental benefits from an active cycling transport initiative. Therefore it was agreed to arrange a tripartite meeting between BNSW,TfNSW and NSW Police to actively work with the Police to achieve this outcome, with our objective to move away from specific campaigns that may potentially scare off cyclists and move toward better education.