In a move that smacked of totalitarianism and demonstrated contempt for people who ride bikes, the NSW Government tried to introduce compulsory ID for bike riders. 

Liberal government ditches bike ID laws

2 December 2016. The people of New South Wales are free to ride after the State Government today abandoned plans to compel people riding bikes to carry photo identification.

After announcing the ‘Go Together’ laws late last year, the NSW government had planned to begin enforcing the proposal for compulsory ID for bike riders from 1 March 2017.

See the news as it was reported in the Sydney Morning Herald. 

Bicycle Network CEO, Craig Richards, welcomed the NSW Government’s backdown on the measures which faced widespread opposition from civil liberty groups, bike advocates and the community.

“Taking compulsory ID off the agenda is an embarrassing backdown by the NSW Government and a huge win for people who ride bikes in NSW,” Mr Richards said.

“It was nothing more than a ridiculous attack on civil liberties aimed at dividing the community. We should be able to move freely around our neigbourhoods without being asked to prove our identity.”

If the law had been enforced, New South Wales would have become the only place in the world where bike riders would have to carry photo ID.

For more than a year, Bicycle Network has been tirelessly campaigning along side political parties, civil liberty groups, bike advocates and the riding community to see the law squashed as it unfairly targeted the marginalised in our society.

“Mandatory ID was proposed under the guise of safety, however it would have only been a barrier to riding a bike and living actively,” Mr Richard said.

“But common sense has prevailed and the issue has been put to bed. We’re keen to push on and work with the government to make New South Wales one of the world’s great bike riding destinations.”

Previously in the campaign...

Take action -

#RideIDFree back on the streets of Sydney

17 November 2016. Bicycle Network hit the streets of inner Sydney this morning to talk with locals about the impending introduction of mandatory ID for bike riders and the impact that this would have on their everyday life.

Mandatory ID is an attack on civil liberties and the basic rights of Australians – riding a bike is something that everyone should be able to do easily and freely.

You wouldn't expect the government to make it difficult for you to go for a swim at the beach or to walk the dog, so why should we accept restrictions on going for a bike ride? Australians have the right to move about their neighbourhoods without being harassed.

The response from riders when told that they would be forced by government to carry ID every single time they jump on a bike was unfavourable to say the least.

The general feeling from riders was that by introducing mandatory ID they are having their freedom ripped away from them, and that the government is actively trying to stop them from riding. 

See how the morning unfolded on Twitter and feedback from riders below. Share your thoughts online using #RideIDfree.

NSW Government denies public access to information

2 November 2016. This week, the New South Wales government refused an official application to access information regarding its current and future strategies for cycling, including the introduction of compulsory ID in March 2017.  

Further information about the timing and implementation of the compulsory ID laws for bike riders over the age of 18 were not disclosed in the answers to questions which were put on notice during the budget estimates period in September.

Bicycle Network has been working closely with the Australian Labor Party’s Upper House State MP, Penny Sharpe, to gain access to the undisclosed information and provide a clearer picture of what the NSW government has planned for people who ride bikes.

Denied on the basis of “parliamentary privilege”, the application would have also given the public knowledge about the results of Roads Minister Duncan Gay’s Go Together campaign, which includes an update on revenue collected from increased fines for bike riders, the impact of minimum passing distance laws and the upcoming carrying of photo ID. 

Both the ALP and Bicycle Network are very disappointed that the information has not been made publicly available and are currently exploring options to challenge the decision.


Bicycle Network spreads the RideIDfree message in Manly 

13 October, 2016. Bicycle Network has taken to the streets of Manly to increase the pressure on Mike Baird and show locals how their way of life will change under the restrictive compulsory ID laws. 

The team issued a number of fake fines and penalties for ID to bike riders – mirroring the reality that locals could face unless the laws for compulsory ID are stopped.

The message was clear – people should be able to move freely around their communities without worrying about being stopped and asked to prove their identity. Does Mike Baird know how this regulation and law enforcement will impact Manly and the people who live there?  

Carefree rides to the beach for a swim will now require people to carry photo ID or face a $106 fine. 

Bicycle Network also managed to stop by the office of Mike Baird MP and Tony Abbott MP to drop off a couple of flyers. 

Write to Mike

Manly residents are being encouraged to write to their local MP Mike Baird and let him know that these laws are not only an attack on civil liberties, but that they will ultimately change Manly's way of life. 

It's time that the state government worked with people who want to ride bikes, rather than against us. 

Let Mike know that you want to ride free in Manly:

NSW Premier Mike Baird

Email: manly@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Phone: 9976 2773

Address: 2/2 Wentworth Street, Manly 2095.

Compulsory ID – Impacting more than just bike riders

6 October 2016. Opposition to compulsory ID measures is growing, with the NSW Council for Civil Liberties adding their voice to the campaign against the NSW Liberal Government proposal. 

Council President Stephen Blanks spoke out against compulsory ID earlier this year when a police officer was alleged to have threatened a Kingscliff woman with a fine, even though it is not yet an offence to ride without carrying ID. 

Bicycle Network CEO Craig Richards said the proposed measures were an attack on people's basic rights to move freely around their own communities. 

"The NSW Liberal Government’s compulsory ID measures are an attack on civil liberties and vulnerable people who don’t have photo ID," said Mr. Richards. 

"It's easy to see how compulsory ID will become a tool for police to harass sectors of the community who are already disenfranchised.

Discussions Bicycle Network has had with other legal organisations indicate they have similar concerns. 

Bicycle Network will continue to work with NSW civil liberty and law reform groups on this issue. 

Questionable support for compulsory ID

23 September 2016. In the latest round of questions on notice to NSW Parliament, Roads Minister Duncan Gay MP has been wrongly advised that all bike groups supported the introduction of compulsory ID.

In answering questions on compulsory ID developed by Bicycle Network with The Greens, Roads Minister Duncan Gay MP revealed that he was advised that all bike groups who attended the roundtable supported the introduction of compulsory ID.

In answering, “Did the NSW Government receive any requests to implement compulsory identification requirements from anyone or any group/organisation?(a) If yes, who or which group/organisation?”

Duncan Gay MP responded:

"I convened two Cycling Safety Roundtables in June and July 2015, to discuss policy issues and options relating to the safety and compliance of bicycle riders in NSW. Government agencies, industry associations and road user community groups attended these roundtables.

I am advised all stakeholders supported the idea that adult riders should carry identification.

The Amy Gillett Foundation, Cycling NSW, NRMA and Pedestrian Council of Australia supported making carriage of identification compulsory for adult bicycle riders."

Bicycle Network did attend both roundtables in 2015. But, as has been previously stated in the strongest terms, Bicycle Network never supported the introduction of mandatory ID for bike riders.

On multiple occasions throughout the process in 2015, we publicly called on the government to abandon any such plans. (See articles from July 2015, October 2015 and January 2016.)

Bicycle Network also submitted a range of questions on the likely timeline and implementation methods of proposed compulsory ID measures which Minister for Roads, Marine and Freight Duncan Gay already gave some answers to last month.

In addition to compulsory ID, the questions also sought an update on the roll out of the NSW Cycling Infrastructure fund and the impact of minimum passing distance laws, including an update on revenue collected from fines to cyclists.

Unfortunately, many questions were dodged and referred to the relevant ministers. 

To see the full transcript and list of questions visit the NSW Parliament website


More confusion rife on the ID front

8 September 2016. With the introduction of compulsory ID for bike riders in NSW only six months away, little more is known about the draft legislation or just how the NSW Government plans to introduce the law. 

Highlighted by Michael O'Reilly's 'On your bike' blog article last week, confusion is also rife among the state's bike riders with many believing that the law has already been introduced. This fact is not helped by confusing text on the government's Go Together website, which states: 

"Bicycle riders over 18 must carry photo ID. From 1 March 2016, all bicycle riders aged 18 and over must carry the required photo identification. This will help riders be identified in an emergency. NSW Police will also be able to ask for identification if they believe a bicycle rider has broken the road rules."

Bicycle Network Chief Executive Officer, Craig Richards, said that it was unbelievable that there was still confusion around compulsory ID.

“If you read the Go Together web site you’d think the law in NSW has required you to carry identification since 1 March 2016,” Mr Richards said.

“Given no law or regulation has been passed this is unbelievable. Why this is still on the web site is baffling? It’s time the NSW government produced its draft legislation.”

Last week during NSW Budget estimates, Greens MP Dr Mehreen Faruqi raised the issue of compulsory ID with the Roads Minister Duncan Gay MP, with questions supplied by Bicycle Network.

Mr Gay responded  "Like wearing a helmet to protect your head from damage when you hit a car or the tarmac, carrying ID is just as good."

It's not exactly clear how carrying an ID improves safety for bike riders or reduces the risk of injury when it's been previously stated that it'll be used to help families identify accident victims, after a crash has occurred.

Mr Gay also said that the NSW government had "indicated" that it would be compulsory from next year. Asked if it would still do so, Gay said: "Yes, but we need to make sure that as we go through we do it appropriately."

Faruqi: "So there is a chance, I am thinking, that the ID rule may not come in, which would be the sensible decision to make."

Gay: "It all depends on sensible dialogue and discussions on addressing the issues that are there."

Is this a sign that the government is already beginning to back pedal on it's plans for compulsory ID if existing issues can't be addressed? 

We can only hope so. 

Bicycle Network CEO explores three common myths about compulsory ID in his latest The Free Rider blog.  Read more >

Compulsory ID ignored by Government

7 April 2016. The NSW Government has failed to respond to questions posed by Independent member for Sydney, Alex Greenwich regarding the cycling rule changes.

In February, Mr Greenwich submitted questions on notice to the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure representing the Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, and Vice-President of the Executive Council, and last week the Government finally responded, with little detail in their answers.

Questions which were clearly avoided included the impact of compulsory rider identification on riding numbers- likely because no assessment has been done on this by the Government.

The Government states that compulsory ID is being introduce primarily 'to ensure family members can be notified if there is a crash and to help emergency services staff do their job properly and provide the best support they can.'

Yet no data has ever been provided to which shows when this has ever been as issue.

Other questions which no answers were given included:

  • What evidence did the Government use to assess the claimed safety improvements from the requirement to carry photographic identification?
  • What other jurisdictions require bike riders to always carry photographic identification?
  • What evidence did the Government use to assess impacts on cyclist numbers and behaviour of new identification requirements?
  • What assessment has the Government made of impacts on cyclist numbers and behaviour of new identification requirements?
  • How did the Government assess how the identification requirements could impact on the uptake of cycling including for commuters, casual riders and visitors to Sydney and what evidence was used to do so?

Bicycle Network is continuing to work with all parties to prevent the implementation of compulsory rider ID and in March 2017.

Green Transport spokesperson Mehreen Faruqi says that she is glad this useless rule has been pushed back for another year-to a start date of 1 March 2017.

"The Government says that this was always the plan but the Go Together website indicates a proposed 1 March 2016 start date, so it is clear that there has been a delay."

"This useless rule needs to be scrapped altogether before it becomes a regulation."

NSW anti-bike laws to stick despite opposition and cross bench push

16 March 2016. Despite a disallowance motion against the new anti-bike laws being heard by the Parliament of New South Wales today, fine increases of 500 per cent for bike riders have not been overturned.

The fine increases were introduced on 1 March this year as part of the NSW Government’s ‘cycling safety package’. Mandatory ID had also been slated by the government but was put off until 2017 in a win for bike riders.

The NSW Greens last week tabled a disallowance motion against the laws. NSW Labor, the Australian Cyclists Party and Animal Justice Party all backed the Greens and provided strong support.

Unfortunately for bike riders, support was not gained for the disallowance motion by all cross benchers in parliament and the harsh fine increases will stick.

Bicycle Network CEO, Craig Richards, is disappointed that the laws were not able to be overturned and said that Roads Minister, Duncan Gay, and the NSW Government were making a huge mistake.

“Today’s outcome shows how tough things are for bike riders in NSW and why we need to stand together. Ripped up bike lanes, heavy handed police treatment and now unjust fine increases; we’re being treated as second class citizens,” said Mr Richards.

“There is no evidence that fine increases of 500 per cent will increase rider safety. With massive congestion and health problems, NSW should be encouraging riding, not becoming bike unfriendly.”

Mr Richards also thanked the NSW Greens, Labor, Australian Cyclists Party, Animal Justice Party, Bicycle Network’s amazing members and friends, and everyone else who has helped fight the new laws to date.

“Without the great support of these groups we wouldn’t have been able to get so close to the right decision. Unfortunately, common sense has not prevailed and the government has once again proven themselves to be backwards.”

“We will continue to fight however. The government is still planning to bring in mandatory ID for bike riders next year and this must be stopped,” added Mr Richards.

The fine increases now facing NSW bike riders include $425 for running a red light and riding dangerously, and $319 for not wearing a helmet. All are up from $71.

Bicycle Network encourages you to show your appreciation to all parties who have stood up for New South Wales bike riders by sending a thank you email.

Disallowance motion put forward

10 March 2016. A move to stop new anti-cycling laws in NSW has been made, with The Greens putting forward a notice for a disallowance in the NSW Legislative Council.

The motion, which was given on 8 March by Dr Mehreen Faruqi, sets out to repeal the fine increases for bike riders, some of which have risen by 500% since 1 March.

It’s likely that the disallowance will be debated on and come to a vote next Tuesday 15 March.

Dr Faruqi, Greens NSW MP and Transport spokesperson, said she was looking forward to the debate.

“This disallowance will send a clear message to the government: jacking up fines massively for cyclists does not make anyone safer. In fact, all it does is discourage people from cycling. I look forward to the debate on Tuesday,” she said.

After months of campaigning, letter writing, meetings, petitions and rallies, we are so close. It’s a credit to the wider bike riding community who have come together and kept pressure on the NSW Government. 

However, it’s still going to be a tough one to win. For the disallowance to be successful, we need to have the numbers and support of all Opposition and Crossbench parties in the NSW Upper House.

See our infographic which explains.

In addition to The Greens, the Australian Labor Party and the Animal Justice Party have said they will back a disallowance motion. But we are still waiting on the Shooters and Fishers Party and the Christian Democratic Party to make their position clear.

If you haven’t already, please email or tweet your concerns about the unfair new cycling laws and fine increases to the Christian Democratic Party and the Shooters and Fishers Party as soon as you can. We need them to support this disallowance.

Christian Democratic Party

Shooters and Fishers Party





Twitter: @CDPAustralia

Twitter: @sfpAustralia


Your email or tweet could be the one that makes a difference. 

A fine anomaly

3 March 2016. It took only three days from the introduction of the NSW Government's new anti-cycling laws for questions to rise about the laws' intentions and consistency.

In taking a closer look at the wording, the newly introduced regulation reveals that ‘Road Rule 151: Riding a motor bike or bicycle alongside more than 1 other rider’has higher penalties for a bike rider when compared with a motorcyclist when committing the same offence.

Put simply, if a bike rider commits an offence under Road Rule 151, it is classified as a level two offence, which carries a penalty of $106. 

If a motorcyclist commits the same offence under Road Rule 151, it is classified as a level one offence, which carries a lesser penalty of $71. 

The NSW Government have previous justified their 500% increases in fines for bike riders as it brings the penalty in line with other road users. Yet the laws blatantly show that this reasoning is not the case. 

In NSW parliament last week, Roads Minister Duncan Gay, reiterated that increasing fines for bike riders was about improving safety. 

"Some cyclists are asking why we have increased fines. To put it simply: We do not want cyclists' money; that is not why we increased fines for high-risk and downright stupid behaviour.

These changes are about improving safety. It should not matter whether people are on a bike or behind the wheel of a car—being a responsible road user, frankly, is not negotiable.

It should be noted that we have introduced changes for motorists too, through the minimum passing distance law. That is an indication that this is not just about targeting cyclists; it is targeting car drivers as well. It is about risky behaviour. It is about protecting our unprotected," Mr Gay said. 

Bicycle Network Chief Executive Officer, Craig Richards, said that the latest discovery just adds more fuel to the fire that the NSW Government is running a discriminatory, anti-bike agenda. 

"The NSW Government is clearly targeting bike riders. We are still waiting on evidence to show how increasing fines will make bike riding safer," Mr Richards said. 

"Where's the consistency? Despite claiming that the new cycling laws will bring penalties into line with other road users, they have kept the penalty for motor bike riders the same." 

"It's just another example of how bike riders are being singled out and unfairly targetted."

NSW Police admit they won’t enforce new passing distance laws

2 March 2016. On the very day that a new bike law introduced in NSW imposing a minimum distance of one metre for motorists when passing bikes, the Police Force and Government have both admitted that they cannot actually enforce it.

An internal NSW Police Force memo obtained by 7 News Sydney conceded that no one will even be able to determine whether a metre has been given and that Police most likely will not be able to enforce the law.

Internal NSW Police Force memo on new passing distance laws obtained by Channel 7.

NSW Roads Minister, Duncan Gay, who spoke to Ten Eyewitness News, followed this up by saying that the laws would be enforced by “common sense” and not by “police getting out a ruler.”

Bicycle Network Chief Executive Officer, Craig Richards, said that this casts doubt on whether the government ever really wanted to improve rider safety.

“What is the point of introducing a passing distance law under the facade of rider safety when you aren't actually going to measure and enforce that distance?” asked Mr Richards.

“We have seen fine increases of up to 500 per cent and a police crackdown on riders. The distance passing rule was to be the pro bike element of the laws package, however it's a real worry that it seems the intention is for the law to be one that just sits on the books.”

Mr Richards also found humour in Mr Gay’s declaration that common sense would be used to enforce the new law.

“The last time I heard that law be applied using ‘common sense’ was when Darryl Kerrigan represented himself prior to engaging Dennis Denuto's help in The Castle,” said Mr Richards.

The laws can still be stopped

1 March 2016. While Super Tuesday marked the first day of the NSW Government's new cycling laws, there's still an opportunity to get them thrown out.

A disallowance against the new penalties can be tabled 14 sitting days after the new rule is published on the NSW Legislation website (from 26 Feb). 

But we need your help to do this.

For the disallowance to be successful, we need to have the numbers and support of all Opposition and Crossbench parties in the NSW Upper House.


The Greens, Labor and the Animal Justice Party have said they will support a disallowance, however the Christian Democratic Party and the Shooters and Fishers Party are yet to make their position clear.

Shadow Minister for Roads, Jodi McKay MP believe that the new laws which come into effect today are targeting cyclists without having any evidence base to prove they will improve safety without impacting cycling participation.

“The Baird Government’s new laws will discourage people from taking up cycling while doing nothing to improve safety for existing cyclists," Ms McKay said. 

“On the face of it, the huge increases in fines appear more driven by revenue than safety.

“There should be an approach that focuses on public education and ensuring motorists and cyclists work together to create safer roads.”

Take action now:

We need you to email and tweet both the Christian Democratic Party and the Shooters and Fishers Party as soon as you can and express your concerns about the 500% increase in fines and ask them to support the disallowance.


Christian Democratic Party Shooters and Fishers Party
paul.green@parliament.nsw.gov.au robert.borsak@parliament.nsw.gov.au
f.nile@parliament.nsw.gov.au robert.brown@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Twitter: @CDPAustralia Twitter: @sfpAustralia



You can also: 

  1. Ring your local member of parliament and make an appointment to see them to discuss these laws
  2. Write a quick email to Premier Baird and Duncan Gay, let them know that these laws are wrong and discriminatory
  3. Become a Bicycle Network member and help build a stronger voice for all bike riders
  4. If you live outside NSW, write to Premier Baird and Tourism Minister Stuart Ayers and tell them you won't be coming to visit NSW if these anti-bike laws are not changed
  5. Use #rideIDfree and help spread the word

One week until ID-Day, Duncan keeps us in the dark

23 February, 2016. With just one week until the 1st of March, when anti-bike laws will supposedly be introduced in New South Wales, Transport for NSW are continuing to publicly highlight unknowns about their own policy.

Speaking to Triple J’s Hack program last week, Bernard Carlon, Executive Director at Transport for NSW Centre for Road Safety, said that compulsory ID laws will not actually come into effect until March 2017.

“It’s a year away [until we] transition to either carrying either your drivers licence or photo identification,” said Mr Carlon.

However, this is at direct odds with the website for Transport for NSW’s ‘Go Together’ campaign, which says that “from 1 March 2016, all bicycle riders aged 18 and over must carry the required photo identification.”

Bicycle Network Chief Executive Officer, Craig Richards, has called for Transport for NSW and Roads Minister, Duncan Gay, to stop playing games and be open about their proposed laws.

“It’s time for them to be honest with the public and tell us exactly what these proposed laws are. It’s also hard to see how any introduction date could be set when they haven’t even been passed through Parliament,” said Mr Richards.

“Not only has no evidence been presented to demonstrate that mandatory ID and massive fine increases will make riding safer, we haven’t even seen any information on how the laws are planned to be introduced next week.”

When asked by Triple J presenter, Tom Tilley, if the new laws would be a barrier to bike riding, Mr Carlon chose to instead say that forced identification is more than a year away.

“It is well known that bike licences are a huge barrier to riding. Mr Gay should admit that his office made an ill-advised mistake and drop the laws so that we can all move on.”

“New South Wales has the potential to be one of the world’s great bike riding destinations, but if these laws are put in place it will instead become a national embarrassment.”

“Let’s hope that this episode can be a near miss and that we can all get on our bikes and enjoy a ride.”


NSW Greens to block harsh new cycling laws

19 February, 2016. The NSW Greens have announced that they will put forward a disallowance motion to stop the NSW Government’s harsh new cycling laws at a rally in Sydney’s CBD today.

A disallowance motion has the potential to overturn New South Wales’ proposed cycling laws, if enough support can be garnered in the upper house.

The announcement is good news for bike riders in New South Wales, who gathered at Martin Place today to vent their frustrations against the introduction of mandatory ID and a 500% increase in fines for bike riders.

In front of hundreds of riders at the #rideIDfree rally, Greens MP, Mehreen Faruqi, called for the government’s perceived vendetta against bike riders to stop.

“The Greens will fight these news laws in the upper house and we look forward to working with the opposition and other parties to throw these laws out the window,” said Ms Faruqi.

Joining Ms Faruqi at the rally were Labor MPs Jodi McKay and Daniel Mookhey, Independent Member for Sydney, Alex Greenwich and President of the Australian Cyclists Party, Omar Khalifa.

Bicycle Network Chief Executive Officer, Craig Richards, was encouraged by The Greens’ announcement, and promised that Bicycle Network will work hard to ensure that the laws are stopped.

“The announcement of a disallowance is great news for bike riders who faced the prospect of restrictive laws, the likes of which we haven’t seen anywhere else in the world,” said Mr Richards.

“Arrogantly, the NSW Government thought it could sneak in an unjustified and discriminatory law before it passed through parliament, without providing any detail or evidence.”

“Today’s announcement is a promising step in the right direction as we look to get these anti-bike rider laws stopped.”

With less than two weeks until the proposed laws are set to come into force, Mr Richards praised the passionate riders who rallied today.

“It just goes to show that when the bike riding community bands together, we can send a strong but respectful message.”

“If you couldn’t make it today, don’t forget there’s still plenty you can do to take action and keep pressure on the NSW Government,” added Mr Richards.

Bicycle Network is calling on everyone to:

  1. Ring your local member of parliament and make an appointment to see them to discuss these laws
  2. Write a quick email to Premier Baird and Duncan Gay, let them know that these laws are wrong and discriminatory
  3. Become a Bicycle Network member and help build a stronger voice for all bike riders
  4. If you live outside NSW, write to Premier Baird and Tourism Minister Stuart Ayers and tell them you won't be coming to visit NSW if these anti-bike laws are not changed

Photos from the #rideIDfree rally can be found on Flickr.


It's time to take a stand - #rideIDfree rally, Thursday 18 February

New South Wales is a great place to live. But, on March 1, things are about to get tougher for bike riders as the State Government increases fines by a staggering 500% and introduces mandatory ID.

Whether you ride to work, to the beach or to the shops, these harsh new laws are an attack on the rights of everyone who loves to ride a bike. Help us stop them! 

We're calling on the bike community to unite and join us as we rally in Martin Place, from 7:30am-8:30am, Thursday 18 February, to fight against the introduction of these anti-cycling laws.

Public rally information: 

What: #rideIDfree rally
When: 7:30am-8:30am, Thursday 18 February
Where:  Martin Place (between Macquarie Street and Phillip Street), Sydney CBD


Join the event on Facebook and help us spread the word #rideIDfree

How round was the table? 

Letters sent to Bicycle Network members have revealed evidence of misunderstand among NSW Coalition MPs about support from the bike community for the state’s new cycling laws.

To the everyday reader, the tone of one letter sent to a consituent by Alister Henskens, MP, the member for Ku-ring-gai in the Legislative Assembly, seems to suggest that the changes have the support of bike organisations.

Throughout the letter, the Coalition MP is clever in his use of language to portray and infer unanimous support, without stating it outright.

These implications must be challenged.

All members of the round table agreed with the general intent of the package to improve safety and compliance among all road user groups,” Mr Henskens said in his letter.

Mr Henskens also made further reference to the roundtable consultation process held in 2015: “All stakeholders supported the idea that adult riders (18 and over) should carry photo ID which can be presented in card form or on their phone. This better aligns bicycle riders with the requirement for motor vehicle drivers to carry a licence. It will ensure they can be identified when they’ve committed an offence or require emergency assistance. However, some stakeholder groups disagreed that it should be mandatory.”

Bicycle Network again places on the record in the strongest terms that throughout the entire process it never supported the introduction of mandatory ID for bike riders.

In fact, on two separate occasions in July and October last year, Bicycle Network publicly called on the government to abandon any such plans.

In the letter, Mr. Henskens also says: “Most stakeholders supported harmonising penalties for high risk offences such as running a red light and riding dangerously. In response, we are increasing these penalties from $71 to $425.”

As further clarification, the round table group was never made aware of the plans for 500 per cent increases in fines, or of any rationale which the government may have been using in setting the levels of bike related fines.

When people hear that a round table was held, they generally believe the participants reached consensus. Bicycle Network would like to be clear that that certainly wasn’t the case and some of the issues and details weren’t even canvassed. It’s not fair to the community to make it seem like bike riding representatives were supportive.

Bicycle Network CEO Craig Richards said that he was disappointed that the letters could be misinterpreted as support.

“We entered the round table process in good faith, and were frank and forthright in letting the government know that we had good grounds for opposing a number of proposals they placed on the table,” Mr Richards said.

“We made it clear that there was a lack of basic evidence to support a number of the proposals put forward, and that they should not be considered for adoption in the absence of supporting information.”

Government to bring NSW riders to heel

21 December 2015: In a move that smacks of totalitarianism—and demonstrates contempt for people who ride bikes—NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay will introduce compulsory photo ID for bike riders in the State next March. 

This oppressive step is a new low for the treatment of bike riders in NSW, who have been under the heel since the ascent of Mr Gay as Roads Minister.

Everyday people who are riding bikes for health, employment, education or just plain enjoyment, are being characterised as a menace to society—people who require surveillance, supervision and control.

Bicycle Network condemns this initiative in the strongest terms and will work to prevent its introduction.

Compulsory photo ID for bike riders is something that few people would have expected to be introduced anywhere in the world in 2015, least of all a supposed modern democracy like NSW. Now NSW is planning to stand alone as the only place in the world with compulsory ID for riders.

What’s next? Compulsory ID for pedestrians?

Mr Gay has also announced, just days before Christmas when governments hope to bury unpopular news, a raft of massive increases in fines affecting bike riders.

These include:

  • Not a wearing helmet (from $71 to $319)
  • Running a red light (from $71 to $425)
  • Riding dangerously (from $71 to $425)
  • Holding onto a moving vehicle (from $71 to $319)
  • Not stopping at children’s/pedestrian crossing ($71 to $425).

Increases of this magnitude are unheard of. Imagine the outrage if fines for motorists jumped 500 percent.

In a move that appears designed to cloak Mr Gay’s harsh measures, the government is planning to simultaneously introduce a trial fixed distance passing law. What's worrying is that under the new fixed distance passing law penalties for driving too close to a rider look set to fall to a lower penalty than under the current safe passing distance law. Surely a bike rider's well being is worth more.

And to cap it off, NSW will also ask bike riders to give a metre to walkers on shared paths. No mention though of how much space riders have to give a dog!

Bicycle Network CEO, Craig Richards, said today that the announcements could set bike riding back decades in NSW.

“Bike riding has been growing rapidly around Australia because it appeals as a healthy activity that everybody can participate in regardless of age or status.

“But now you need the official stamp of government approval—you can't leave the house without your officially mandated, government issued ID card.

“In a time where we need greater cooperation from all road users, these proposals will result in bike riders being seen as a fringe group that needs special rules to keep them in check."

Take action: Help turn the tide on rider ID

Having overcome the shock of the announcement that adults will need to carry a government issued photo ID card when riding a bike in NSW, it's time to turn the outrage into action.

We know the new NSW government doesn't care about bike riders. But we do know two things it does care about: votes and money. We need to show the government that its voting citizens are unhappy and that those outside NSW will spend their tourist dollars elsewhere.

Here's what you can do today:

  1. If you live in NSW, ring your local member of parliament and make an appointment to see them to discuss these laws
  2. Write a quick email to Premier Baird and Duncan Gay, let them know that this is wrong
  3. If you live outside NSW, write to Premier Baird and Tourism Minister Stuart Ayers and tell them you won't be coming to visit NSW if these anti-bike laws are not changed

Also, spread the word. Share this on Facebook or Twitter and get your friends and family in NSW to act. Ask your friends who are interstate or overseas to write.


This will get things started. We all know by working together bike riders are an unstoppable force.

Seven arguments against compulsory rider ID and a 500% increase in fines: 

  1. Don’t fall for ‘Only people doing something wrong should worry’. The risk of creating an oppressive society where we don’t challenge authority is a huge concern. This TED talk about why privacy matters is a ripper.

  2. Everything a rider carries doesn't have to be mandatory and written in law. Should it also be law to carry a spare tube, credit card, mobile phone, a filled water bottle and tool kit too?

  3. 11.2% of people in NSW don’t have a government-issued ID. A large portion of these people are disadvantaged. Compulsory ID discriminates against the least fortunate.

  4. NSW Police already have the power to require a person to provide their name and address. So what problem is compulsory ID solving?

  5. Fines only need to be an amount which discourages the illegal behavior. There’s no evidence to suggest a 500% increase is that amount.

  6. Make no mistake, compulsory ID means you’ll require the permission of the government before you ride. It’s strikes at the very heart of what’s great about bike riding.

  7. Why should bike riders be treated differently to rest of society?