Cyclists in Orange have been fined about $70,000 for offences ranging from not wearing helmets to riding on footpaths in the past three-and-a-half years.
The fines for the 437 offences from July 2014 to the present are more than double the number recorded for the same period in Bathurst  and Dubbo .
Figures supplied by Revenue NSW show that fines totalling $69,850 were handed out to cyclists in the City of Orange area.
Of the 437 offences, 282 were for people not wearing helmets and 96 were for people over 12-years old riding on footpaths.
Other offences included not having a visible front light at night, not having a rear red light, riding without a working brake, riding recklessly, riding negligently, carrying a passenger who was not wearing a helmet, crossing a road on a marked pedestrian crossing, not having a warning device, riding through a red light, moving into the path of a pedestrian or driver and holding onto a moving vehicle while riding.
So far in 2017-18 the number of offences  is down compared to previous years.
The highest number was 144 in 2014-15 followed by 136 offences in 2016-17 and 117 in 2015-16.
Fines for cyclists were increased by the state government in 2016 to bring them in line with penalties applying to motorists for high risk behaviour.
Riding without a helmet now carries a $330 fine while riding on a footpath [12 years and older] incurs a $110 fine.
Running a red light or not stopping at a pedestrian crossing incurs a $439 fine.
The former head of the Orange City Council community cycling committee Steve Martin said he hadn’t heard of any cyclists he knew being fined in Orange.
He said helmets were vital for all riders.
“It is not considered an option for people who ride regularly,” he said.
“Helmets do save lives.”
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President of the Orange Cycle and Triathlon Club Mitch Bland said all members wore helmets when they rode.
“In the Australian environment wearing a helmet is critical for cyclists’ safety and that’s evidenced by the number of crashes I’ve attended where the helmet has sustained pretty heavy damage and the cyclist gets up and walks away,” he said.
“There is a long history of helmets preventing head injury.
“People not wearing helmets are crazy.”
He said it had been a controversial issue as some people wanted to follow Europe and the US where helmets were not compulsory.
However, he said much of Europe, where cycling was encouraged and well catered for with bike paths, was a different environment to Australia.
Mr Bland said riding on footpaths were shared environments with pedestrians and cyclists needed to be careful around them.
“They’re not the environment for people to be riding bikes at speed,” he said.
“Those who can, should ride elsewhere.
“It is up to councils to provide cycle paths.
“In Orange the council is doing a good job.
“You can ride most places around Orange without having to ride on a busy road.”
CYCLING FINES IN NSW
- Riding without a helmet $330
- Running a red light $439
- Riding on a footpath [12 years and over] $110
- Holding onto a moving vehicle $330
- Not stopping at childrens/pedestrian crossing $439.