7/24/2005Australian Bicyclists to Get License Demerit Points
Australian police propose giving license demerit points to bicyclists.
Bicyclists in Australia already face the same financial penalties as motorists for offenses such as running a red light. Now police officials are proposing legislation that would also apply demerit points against the driving licenses of cyclists, which would increase their insurance premiums and could lead to the loss of automobile driving privileges.
"If a cyclist all of a sudden saw they were going to get three demerit points for going through a red light on his Sunday morning bike ride, and that might affect their livelihood as a sales rep, I think there'll be a lot more responsible attitude," Moorabin Police Inspector Alan Carlisle told the Age. Carlisle plans to present a full proposal to government officials.
Officials in Chicago, Illinois recently commenced a similar crackdown on bicyclists, looking to issue fines between $25 and $250 for various infractions.
But Inspector Carlisle says the Hell Ride is still "unfortunately, at times, anarchy on wheels" - and in the pack mentality, there was safety in numbers. "Even when the police come alongside in a car and say to cyclists in the Hell Ride, 'pull over', they don't - they just keep riding. I've been having the traffic police work on them nearly every Saturday to get some semblance of culture, where they don't ride over two, let alone three, lanes."Source: Licence demerit plan for cyclists (The Age (Australia), 7/24/2005)
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