Fines for cyclists who break road rules should be increased to bring them closer into line with penalties drivers face for the same offence, SA's peak motoring organisation has said.

RAA road safety manager Charles Mountain said under current penalties, drivers receive a $437 fine for running a red light while a cyclist is charged just $54 for the same offence. 

He said the disparity between the penalties needed to be addressed.

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Sounds like a case of butt-hurt to me over the recent footpath and metre laws. Will they fine pedestrians the same amount for crossing on a red to bring them into line too?

Oh well, worst I've ever got is a handful of parking fines from staying longer than allowed and I don't intend for that to ever change.

I suppose obey the rule and all is cool .This has now made up my mind to not give the RAA any money.

One of my concerns with this is exactly what the minimum is for "running a red light". In a car, it counts as running the red light if you allow your car to roll half-a-length across the stop line before the light turns green. Most of the suburban traffic light intersections I use, I am crossing the main road, and the road I am on has a "bike button" on a pole a metre or so past the stop line. To reach the button with my outstretched arm, my bottom bracket is over the front edge of the stop line, even at the intersections that have painted the line a little further forward on the bike lane.

I have not understood why most of these intersections have a traffic island between the slip lane for left turns and the continuing lanes, the island has a lowered section or gap for pedestrians, and the pole is planted in this lowered section, not on the island next to it to give the pedestrians clear passage.

I can understand arguments for both "if you cross the stop line, the fine is the same", and "bikes are smaller and more nimble than cars, the penalty should fit the crime". I don't know how the magnitude of fines and expiation notices is normally set, so have no idea how to choose which argument should win, nor by how much.

Disclaimer: I am a "rogue driver" - I have received about 6 speeding fines and one parking fine in about 30 years of driving, but never been caught breaking the law on my bike.

A sensible thought bubble from the Transport Minister Stephen Mullighan:

But in a statement, Transport Minister Stephen Mullighan said South Australia was the only state where cyclists can accrue demerit points for traffic offences.

"This means that cyclists who repeatedly break the law can lose their driver's licence or be prevented from obtaining one," he said.

He said fines for cyclists were lower because the capacity for a cyclist to cause harm is far less than it is for someone behind the wheel of a car.

The RAA is comparing so called apples to oranges.

Yes. At least the last point was my thoughts exactly. 

The RAA really needs to stop sniffing car fumes:

  • A cyclist presents significantly less threat to others than a motor vehicle. Compare the weights: entry level MTB -- Giant Boulder -- 15 Kg. Versus RAA's recommended medium car -- Skoda Octavia -- 1350Kg. In short, the bike probably weights less than one car wheel.
  • Equal fines don't result in equal outcomes. A family in that Skoda crossing a red light -- $437. A family on bicycles crossing a red light in RAA World -- $1748.
  • Cyclists don't have the same financial resources as motorists. A third of bikes are sold to people under 15.
  • The large level of cycling by youth makes it unwise to levy large fines. The higher fines will lead to an escalation into the criminal law system -- teenage cyclist runs light, $437 is impossible sum to pay, lack of knowledge of courts means they don't contest fine, non-payment leads to default judgement, non-payment of that leads to warrant for arrest. Laws should do their best to avoid a teenager riding through a red light becoming a life-determining event.

Because the RAA's view of Adelaide's future is so very different to mine I am long longer a RAA member. If you are a member it would be well worth ringing your association and making your views known.

That family is almost as good a hypothetical as the cyclists doing 80km/h on footpaths because they think the road is too dangerous.

A cyclist presents significantly less threat to others than a motor vehicle

I get what you're saying, but the potential threat is far more than than that of hitting and squashing a third party. The biggest threat is to the cyclists themselves and fines are to deter road users from putting themselves at risk as much as anything. Helmet laws for bikes and motorbikes fall into the same category. Economists could tell us exactly the on-cost of road accidents to the wider community in hospital costs, emergency services, insurance industry premiums and payouts and lost-time productivity to the economy.

Injuries and deaths at intersections could also be caused by cyclists hitting pedestrians or other vehicles swerving to miss an unexpected red-light runner.

Once I was a car driver entering an intersection on green and was hit by a flying cyclist who misjudged their dash through the lights or didn't see me- who knows, and slammed into the side of my car. They go to hospital, off work for weeks, then sued against my CTP (god knows what grounds) and as far as I know SGIC paid them to go away rather than risk their time and money in the courts.

Jeez, it would have been easier if they'd just stopped on red....

The incidence of cyclists hitting pedestrians is so low throughout the world that your argument is lacking any weight. Deaths attributed to cyclists' error is so low that it is counted by the decade in this country yet deaths attributed to car drivers' error amount to around 1000pa country wide. The sad fact remains that people are not getting the message that the car they drive is an inherently dangerous piece of machinery that can cause death and injury to others as well as themselves very easily. To include cyclists in the deterrent measures for motor vehicles does not have a valid basis.

Is it a recognised offence for a pedestrian to cross against a red light? If so, what is the fine? In SA, a cyclist can lose their licence if repeated offences, but doubt the case for errant pedestrians.

Ask RAA if they will push for pedestrian penalties to be increased (e.g. walking on Frome Rd bike path). Drivers are also pedestrians, from carpark to destination.

Seems to me the only people complaining about this are probably the one's that cut red lights. For the rest of us that do the right thing, its like...pfff, they could raise it to $1000...doesn't concern us in the slightest.

Depends on definitions. I often roll far enough across the stop line to reach the bike button. This is technically running a red light. I also sometimes roll through certain stop signs (unclipped to facilitate a quick stop if required) at walking pace, where the sight line is good enough to do that on a bike making a right turn. I stop at others every time, and at these in a car, too.


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