ACT News

ACT rules out requiring cyclists to carry ID

The ACT government has ruled out forcing cyclists to carry identification, despite it becoming mandatory for riders on NSW roads next year.

Adult cyclists riding on NSW roads will be required to carry photo identification and fined 350 per cent more for not wearing a helmet under new rules and penalties to be introduced next March.

Canberra's cyclists will not be forced to carry ID despite NSW mandating it from March 2016.
Canberra's cyclists will not be forced to carry ID despite NSW mandating it from March 2016.  Photo: Wayne Taylor

The reforms were wrapped into a new package of rules for both cyclists and motorists, which will also require NSW drivers to leave a one-metre buffer when overtaking cyclists, and at least 1.5 metres when travelling faster than 60km/h, just like in the ACT.

But an ACT government spokesman said it will not follow suit by introducing legislation to require cyclists to carry identification. 

"In the event of a cyclist being involved in a crash or other on-road incident there are existing powers for police to request the cyclist's name and address," he said.

"A range of road rules apply equally to motorists and cyclists, such as rules about speed limits, giving way, stopping at red lights and refusing to provide name and address when requested by police. The penalties for failing to obey these rules are the same, regardless of whether they are committed by a driver or a bike rider."

While the new laws will affect ACT riders who traverse the border, Canberra Cycling Club president Stuart Jones said most cyclists carry identification anyway. 

"Generally it is considered a good safety precaution, if you are found on the side of the road if you have had an accident or something people know who you are.

"Whether or not it's a good thing to make it mandatory, [something] potentially people can be persecuted [is another matter]. It's not that far away from  licensing for cyclists and I probably wouldn't like to see it brought in as a rule for cyclists in the ACT."

But Mr Jones said the growing recognition of minimum overtaking distances for cyclists was encouraging. 

"It's always good to see that spreading further across the country. I think it's made a difference [here in Canberra already]. I've been out riding and I feel like it's good to have almost that line with that minimum distance motorists need to give to a cyclist rather than just 'this is how far I think it should be'."

An ACT government spokesman said: "ACT cyclists should remember that when they cross the border into NSW they are bound by the NSW road rules."

Details of penalties for offences under ACT road transport legislation can be found in the Road Transport (Offences) Regulation 2005 on the ACT Legislation Register.