Petrol-powered bicycles outlawed, some electric bikes okay

PETROL powered bicycles that tear up and down the roads and footpaths of the Northern Rivers are now illegal after new laws outlawing their use were introduced this month.

Transport for NSW Centre for Road Safety introduced the laws following the death of three people on petrol powered motorised pushbikes last year.

A Roads and Maritime spokesman said, from October 1, all petrol-powered bicycles will be banned on NSW roads and road-related areas such as footpaths, shared paths, cycle ways and cycle paths.

"The ban will include bicycles that have had a petrol-powered engine attached after purchase, were bought with an attached petrol-powered engine, or are powered by any type of internal combustion engine.

"Petrol-powered bikes are unsafe and put their riders and other road users at risk.

"Petrol-powered bicycles are faster than regular bicycles and can often travel continually at more than 40 km/h.

"This is much faster than elite cyclists and comparable with the speeds of mopeds and small motorcycles."

Richmond LAC Highway Patrol Sergeant Dave Carter echoed the RMS spokesman's views about the dangers of petrol powered bikes.

"They operate like a motorbike but they only have the brakes and the stopping power of a normal pushbike, which creates dangers for their riders and other road users," he said.

"Unlicensed, inexperienced people, including teenagers riding these bikes on the roads, only increases the danger."

Sgt Carter said police across the Northern Rivers will continue to focus on petrol powered motorised pushbikes as part of regular patrols.

"Petrol powered bikes have always been illegal, but the new laws clarify the situation."

New laws

Legal bicycles in NSW from October 1:

  • Regular bicycles with no engines attached
  • Complying 250 watt pedelacs (pedal assisted electric bicycles)
  • 200 watt power assisted pedal bicycles that have an electric motor



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