Australia declares financial war on the cyclist

Australia, bicycle, cycle, fine -

Australia declares financial war on the cyclist

Oh my word. Don't give anybody in the UK government ideas...

Michael Gratton was recently cycling to work in Sydney when he was stopped by a police “education and awareness” blitz and fined $531 (£310). The severity of the crime? No helmet, no bell and not having a working brake. I think we can all agree that two of those three 'crimes' are pretty laughable.

The Guardian reports on these horrifying series of fines that seem more likely to deter people from cycling than any badly-driven lorry or impatient driver. Requesting every cyclist carries iD on them seems a particularly bonkers legal requirement.

Chris Standen, an analyst at the University of Sydney’s Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies, said, "In both Sydney and Melbourne, you have some local councils that see value in giving more people the freedom to get around, or to access public transport, by bicycle, something that requires a connected bicycle network with either safe traffic speeds, or physical separation between traffic and bicycles.

“But in both cities you also have a state roads authority whose number one objective is to maximise the flow of motor vehicles through our neighbourhoods."

Seriously, this seems like terrible news from down under. Never mind fining people for doing something that keeps you healthy and reduces toxic emissions, these sort of exorbitant figures are more likely to make cyclists consider buying a motorbike!