A CYCLIST has criticised New South Wales police for being heavy handed after an officer threatened to fine her under a law that doesn’t come into effect until next year.
Kingscliff local Heather Stewardson was riding along the shared bike and walking track near Wommin Bay Road on Monday when she was pulled over by a NSW Police Traffic and Highway Patrol Command.
The real estate agent, who wasn’t wearing a helmet, was asked to produce identification and claims the officer told her she would be fined for two offences.
Cyclists are required under NSW law to wear a helmet and to carry ID. However, fines for the ID offence don’t come into effect until March next year. The fine for not wearing a helmet rose this year from $71 to $319, an increase Ms Stewardson said could significantly affect the community atmosphere in the town.
She said she hadn’t been stopped for riding without a helmet for a decade.
New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties President Stephen Blanks said the community expected police to focus on more serious offences.
“There maybe good reason for encouraging cyclists to wear helmets but when police are imposing very large fines on people who don’t wear fines they are simply creating enemies in the community,” he said.
Source: Gold Coast Bulletin