Wagga cyclists welcome backdown on strict identification law

Wagga cyclists have welcomed the government’s backflip on plans to make carrying identification mandatory while riding a bike. 

The government had plans to fine cyclists $106 for failing to carry identification from March, but will instead “encourage” riders to carry their emergency contact details. 

Cycling advocacy group Bicycle Wagga president David Ham said the ID debate was a storm in a teacup, claiming most cyclists already carried a card to identify themselves in case of emergency.

“You’d be a fool not to carry ID because there’s always the risk of an accident,” Mr Ham said.

“If you’re knocked unconscious, then how would anyone find out who you are.

“The whole debate is a a furphy, most cyclists do in fact travel with drivers licenses and kids have their student ID, so what’s the problem?”

Mr Ham said a far more important safety issue was lax enforcement of the road rule requiring drivers to leave one metre when overtaking a bike rider and 1.5 metres in speed zones above 60km/h.

“90 per cent of drivers are really good, very conscious of cyclists, but there’s always a lunatic fringe that seems to drive by as close as possible,” Mr Ham said.

“You only need one collision and you could be killed, which is why it needs to be enforced.”

A recent report commissioned by Wagga council made the extraordinary claim 70 per cent of residents would ride their bike to work if it weren’t so dangerous contending with traffic and there was somewhere to lock up the bike during the day.

The same report proposed $10.5 million worth of cycling paths stemming from the CBD to Forest Hill, Kapooka Army Base, Bourkelands, Charles Sturt University and Lake Albert, including a new Murrumbidgee River crossing.

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