Every year up to 11 cyclists are killed in motor vehicle related accidents and another 1500 are seriously injured. These staggering numbers are from NSW alone, and do not account for minor injuries to cyclist.
As of 1 March 2016, the NSW Government will be enforcing new rules to promote driver and cyclist safety. The aim is to reduce the number of cycling accidents on NSW roads.
THE KEY CHANGES FOR DRIVERS
Drivers must allow a distance of 1 meter when travelling at 60km per hour. A distance of 1.5 meters when travelling at speeds greater than 60km per hour.
If drivers do not adhere to the new rules they can be fined up to $319 and two demerit points.
KEY CHANGES FOR CYCLISTS
All bicycle riders over the age of 18 must now carry photo identification. In cases of emergency or when a cyclists has broken road rules the cyclist must to produce a driver licence or a NSW photo card.
Cyclists have a 1 year adjustment period to get photo identification. This means that cyclists who do not have photo identification after 1 March 2017 may be fined $106 by police.
The fines for existing bicycle rules have also dramatically increased. Not wearing a helmet will set cyclists back $319, riding dangerously or running a red light will cost $425!
More information about these changes can be found at: http://roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au/campaigns/go-together/
Many bicycle groups such as Bicycle NSW have taken a negative attitude towards the new rules. In their letter to the Premier, Bicycle NSW wrote that the increased fines and photo identification requirement will reduce cycling participation and that the new rules are in direct contradiction to the NSW Government’s commitment to ‘make bike riding a convenient and enjoyable option that benefits everyone’.
YOUR RIGHTS AS AN INJURED CYCLIST
If you or someone you know has been injured in a bicycle accident with a car you can claim compensation for pain and suffering, medical treatment, and loss of income regardless of who was at fault.
It is important to note that you cannot claim damage to your bike or clothing through a personal injury claim. However, you may claim compensation for damage through the other drivers Comprehensive Insurance.
If you are injured it is important that you (or where possible someone else on your behalf):
- Obtain the details of the other party including registration number, name, and phone number.
- If someone witnessed the accident you should ask them for their details, this step is very important for your claim.
- If possible take photographs of the scene of the accident, your bike, and the car.
- If injured you must report the accident to police within 28 days, if they do not turn up to the scene of the accident.
- See your doctor immediately for treatment and make sure they record the consultation
There are time limits to make a claim against a CTP insurer for compensation for injuries sustained in an car accident.
- You must fill out an Accident Notification Form within 28 days of the accident and send it to the CTP Insurer of the driver at fault and;
- You must fill out a Personal Injury Claim Form within 6 months of the date of the injury and send it to the CTP Insurer of the driver at fault.
The best way to ensure you are entitled to compensation is to speak to an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law who will help you comply with the law so you claim is in time and assist you get proper compensation.
Garling and Co Lawyers 2016
Accredited Specialists in personal injury law