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Australian state introduced big increases in fines for law-breaking cyclists on 1 March

Two cyclists in Sydney, New South Wales – the Australian state that brought in big increases in penalties for law-breaking riders on 1 March – have reportedly been fined A$425 (£225) apiece after police spotted them trackstanding at traffic lights.

Trackstanding in itself is not an offence, with the Twitter feed of campaign group Australian Cyclists instead suggesting that the pair were booked for “dangerous cycling” – although quite who they might have been endangering is unclear.

Some people commenting on that post wondered whether the trackstanding riders might have gone beyond the ‘Stop’ line, with running a red traffic light an offence that also attracts a fine of A$425.

Ahead of the new laws being introduced, Professor Chris Rissel of Sydney University, who has published widely on cycling-related issues, warned that New South Wales stood to become “the worst state in the world in terms of how we treat cyclists – if we’re not already.”

> New South Wales set to be "worst state in world" for cyclists

Just days before the new laws came into effect last week, 450 cyclists were fined on one day for a variety of offences.

> Police penalties for 450 cyclists in one day

New South Wales transport minister Duncan Gay however insists that the laws, which include higher fines for cyclists who flout the compulsory helmet law, are in the interests of making bike riders safer.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.