THERE has been more than $1.33 million worth of fines issued to NSW cyclists since the state government introduced heavy-handed fines for two-wheel commuters.
The amount has already more than doubled what was collected for similar offences in the 2013-14 financial year, with multiple inner-city crackdowns contributing to the large sum.
Labor MP Penny Sharpe undertook the difficult task of finding the statistics from the state’s debt recovery unit and believes they demonstrate revenue raising at its best.
“The fines are nothing more than a nice little cash cow for the government,” she said.
Of the total value of fines, riding without a helmet has been the highest earner, with 3,171 infringements totalling $1,018,101.
The dubious infringement of “riding dangerously” was the next most lucrative offence, with 1,711 people handed $225,310 worth of fines.
While the 293 cyclists fined for not stopping at red lights or pedestrian crossings have contributed $89,838.
Although the NSW government claims the increased fines and crackdowns are aimed at improving cyclist safety, the statistics show something different.
Ms Sharpe said this becomes apparent when comparing the excess of $1.33 million for cycling infringements to the $4857 of fines issued to motorists neglecting to comply to the safe passing distance legislation.
“The fines have very little to do about improving safety for cyclists because if this was the motive there would have been a more balanced crackdown,” she said.
Ms Sharpe said she believes the state government is trying everything in its power to discourage cycling, which is making Sydney a laughing stock to other world cities.
“NSW is a pretty rogue state in terms of this legislation. These fines are not seen anywhere else, which demonstrates outright hostility from our Roads Minister,” she said.
“Every other serious global city is encouraging cycling as it reduces congestion and improves health, but instead we are targeting cyclists.
“The increase in fines and removal of the College Street cycleway to make way for motorists is a clear example of this.”
News.com.au has contacted Roads Minister Duncan Gay for comment and is waiting reply.
Do you think the fines are a bad look for our city? Continue the conversation on Twitter @mattydunn11.
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