Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Jail time for riding a BMX???

There have recently been a few changes to the law in Victoria. Check this article, but basically the low-down is that they want to crack down on "bad cycling behaviour" & "property damage". The aim is to reduce the states road deaths.... makes you wonder what they'll put in place for cars???

Is doing this in an empty car park damaging??? Photo: Kristy Smith

Ali Finlay has kindly written a small response to this article:

Don’t kill anyone or you’re done for.

The Victorian state parliament changed laws in-relation to penalties for dangerous use of bicycles yesterday.

Read about it here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/06/18/2601834.htm

The story was all over the local TV news and I’m sure the papers are also giving it a flog.

What this really all means is that now if you happen to kill someone or cause an accident or fail to stop at an accident you’ve been involved in whist on your bike, you might be leaving yourself open to fines in the hundreds of thousands dollars and up to five years in jail.

I say now, because it seems previously if you happen to kill someone whilst riding your bike the fine was relatively small and you didn’t have to go to jail.

Or such was the case when a road rider named William Raisen-Shaw hit and killed 77 year old James Gould whist riding in a ‘peloton’ in Mentone.

Read about it here: http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/official-eye-falls-on-hell-ride/2006/08/29/1156816899914.html

And some reporting on the Coroners findings here: http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/coroner-slams-hell-riders/2007/07/26/1185339168515.html?s_cid=rss_news

In short the changes to the law bring bikes into line with motor vehicles when it comes to penalties if you mess up, which isn’t unusual considering bikes already have to conform to a minimum level of roadworthiness, just like cars.

Most flatland and BMX bikes do not meet the minimum roadworthy requirement, some lack at least one brake and when was the last time you ran a reflector, let alone pedal reflectors, wheel reflectors and front and rear reflectors?

Ultimately, if you don’t hit anyone when you're riding, then you’re okay and it doesn’t matter if the penalty is $500 or lethal injection.

But if you do hit someone, whether its on the way to your spot, or even at your spot (as I have seen happen) then you could be busted, twice as busted if your bike isn’t considered roadworthy.

So try not to hit people or things with your bike when riding and if you do, stick around and assist them in not dying or you may get some serious damage thrown your way.

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