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Take a cycling class to avoid $250 pavement riding fine, councillors urge

Heavy fines will only punish those least able to pay, warn politicians

Cyclists who are ticketed for offences should be allowed to choose cycle training to avoid a large fine, a councillor in Sacremento has said.

Pavement cycling is due to incur a $25 fine for a first offence, $100 fine for the second in one year and $250 for the third in a year.

The city will use ‘no biking’ signs across all areas they deem to be unsafe for pavement riding.

But Steve Hansen said that the fines are too large, and that a class on riding safely could be a good alternative.

“A (sidewalk) sign is an inefficient tool to change behavior,” Hansen told the Sacremento Bee. “By creating this class, I believe we will have better riders out there. We will teach people how to be smarter.”

Councilman Jay Schenirer, under whom the new law was conceived, has not ruled out the idea but called for information on costs.

Currently, all cyclists caught riding on pavements outside residential areas face a $5 fine.

Hilary Abramson, a resident who was run down and injured two years ago by a cyclist, said:“Common sense still dictates that bikes do not belong on sidewalks. The city shouldn’t allow it. Don’t ride your bike if you are afraid (of street riding) in the urban core.”

Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates Director Jim Brown said the classes were a good option for those who rode bikes because they could not afford a car.

Robert Prinz of the advocacy group Bike East Bay, said: “Most people out there do know what they are supposed to do and not do, but they still make decisions that break the law because they fear for their safety.”

Earlier this year we reported how cycling on footpaths has been made legal in Western Australia, further dividing the country into areas where cycling is welcomed and places where riders feel victimised.

Local government in Western Australia also pledged to increase the number of cycle paths following the deaths of two cyclists las month in collisions with cars in Perth.

Footpaths have now been opened up to riders of all ages, with children under 12 previously the only ones allowed on them.

All Australian states now allow footpath riding except Victoria and New South Wales.

Transport Minister Dean Nalder said the Cycling and Pedestrian Advisory Group had presented findings that showed very low risks to other footpath users and great safety benefits for cyclists.

But the Green transport spokeswoman Lynn MacLaren said cyclists needed to take extreme care around vulnerable pedestrians.

She added: “Bike riders should be able to occasionally use the footpath because our roads are still largely configured with just cars in mind – however it is not an ideal situation and what we urgently need are more cycle lanes and paths.”

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wycombewheeler | 7 years ago
1 like

Or you could avoid the fine by not repeat offending.

Interested to know if the same sliding scale fines are applied to speeding. Or is that considered less of an issue than pavement cycling.

Simon E replied to wycombewheeler | 7 years ago
1 like

Perhaps they should ask the 'offenders' why they don't feel able to cycle on the road. It would probably be the same reason that so many people give for not cycling more often - fear of traffic.

Most pavement cycling is really a symptom of a far more serious problem.

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