According to Victoria Government Gazette S 289, s 19 of the Road Legislation Amendment Act 2009 came into effect last Thursday.
This is the provision that creates an offence for road users (other than motor vehicles and wheel-chairs) to use their vehicle carelessly. Translation = cyclists.
I’d thought this provision had been in for a while, but according to the Explanatory Memorandum it was held back until the Road Safety (General) Regulations 1999 (which themselves will have to be repealed by December) were amended to prevent infringements being issued for this offence.
Yes, that’s right. Due to the operation of the Road Safety (General) Amendment (Careless Driving) Regulations 2009, if you are a full licence holder and charged with careless driving in a car you’ll receive a fine. But if you’re on a bicycle, whether you’re a full licence holder or not, you go to court.
The penalty will be a maximum of six penalty units for a first offence, and twelve penalty units for a subsequent offence.