Road Rules For Bicycles

March 16, 2011, 10:39 amBicycle NSW news

At the end of last year the NSW Office of State Revenue was chasing more than 31,000 unpaid fines for bicycle offences in the past five years. With more people buying bikes and riding to work or going for a weekend cycle we thought it was important to outline road rules for bicycles.

Road Rules For Bicycles

Getty Images

Under NSW legislation a bicycle is considered as a vehicle. As such, cyclists are required to obey the road rules, including stopping at red lights or stop signs, giving way as indicated by signage and giving hand signals when changing direction.

Here is our selection of some of the more pertinent rules, but for a comprehensive list check the NSW Government Road Rules and the RTA Handbook for bicycle riders

- Your bicycle must have at least one working brake and a fully-functional bell, horn, or similar warning device
- Bicycle riders must wear a correctly-fitting, approved bicycle helmet
- Riders must not ride a bicycle at night or in hazardous weather conditions unless with a flashing or steady white light at the front, and a steady or flashing red light from the rear. The bike must also have a red reflector visible from the rear
- Bicycle riders must ride with at least one hand on the handlebars
- Bicycle riders must not carry more people than the bike is designed for
- Bicycle riders must not ride on a crossing unless there is a green bicycle light
- Bicycle riders must stop at red lights and at stop signs; and also at give way signs if there is traffic traveling on the crossroad
- Bicycle riders can use Bus Lanes but are not permitted to use Bus Only Lanes
- Transit lanes are used for vehicles containing a certain number of people. These lanes may also be used by bicycles
- When a bicycle lane is marked on the road, cyclists must use it. These lanes are for use by bicycles, but cars may use them for not more than 50 metres to enter or leave the road at a driveway or intersection
- On roundabouts, bicycle riders are allowed to turn right from the left hand lane. When passing each exit, you must give way to any vehicle leaving the roundabout from that exit
- A bicycle rider must not ride on any part of the Sydney Harbour Bridge other than the cycleway
- The rider of a bicycle must not ride within 2 metres of the rear of a moving motor vehicle continuously for more than 200 metres.

Road rules for bicycles vary slightly from state to state. Follow the links below for the rules in your state:
South Australia
Western Australia
Northern Territory

Bicycle NSW has been advocating cycling in all its forms for over 30 years now, and is a leading force in the promotion of cycling as a sustainable, healthy form of transport throughout the state. With over 50 affiliated cycling groups, Bicycle NSW is engaging with governments, the industry and the community at all levels to ensure cycling continues to grow and develop.

Newest First
Oldest First
Top Rated
Most Replies


  1. Scott02:46pm Tuesday 20th September 2011 ESTReport Abuse

    After cycling trip across Australia from Fremantle to Sydney I was mortified by the horrific and near on lethal driving in Sydney. I was run off the road by a truck. I understand that cyclist are slower than the traffic but don't drive like a d/head and risk killing a person. Murder=Jail.

  2. Nic & Tim01:27pm Friday 10th June 2011 ESTReport Abuse

    There will never be a happy medium between motorists and cyclists because neither is willing to accept the others opinions. This is why there will never be any regulation because to do so requires too much work and noone will be happy with/or accept it.

  3. JFW08:39am Sunday 20th March 2011 ESTReport Abuse

    Parents need to take note of these rules and ensure their children adhere to them. Most kids ride without helmets, ride on the wrong side of the road and have no road sense whatsoever. They are an accident waiting to happen. Children need to pass a road cycling test before being allowed on the road.

  4. Al08:24am Sunday 20th March 2011 ESTReport Abuse

    wow. As a regular rider Im appalled at the aggression & lack of legal education coming from drivers here. cycling will continue so lets keep a look out for one another & please refresh your road rules. how about backing your claims with quotes from the law instead of defining your own rules?

  5. Graham07:21am Sunday 20th March 2011 ESTReport Abuse

    i thought i was doing the right thing last year ridding my tredly to the shop but on the way home i got slapped with 5 fines 1 no lights 2 ridding on the foot path 3 popped a mono so recless ridding 4 no helmet 5 no bell so now ive gone back to my car much cheaper then $750 bike ride

    1 Reply
  6. Senja10:33pm Saturday 19th March 2011 ESTReport Abuse

    I don't think cyclists bikes need registration, but with a lot of confusion about the road rules why don't they make them get a licence before they allow them to ride on the roads.

    1 Reply
  7. Robert10:22pm Saturday 19th March 2011 ESTReport Abuse

    It is illegal to ride on the footpaths you morons.

  8. Brett C10:12pm Saturday 19th March 2011 ESTReport Abuse

    when a cyclist says to me do you own the road my reply is I own it more than you do with all the motoring taxes I pay

    1 Reply
  9. Rod Walters09:40pm Saturday 19th March 2011 ESTReport Abuse

    I think all road user's should be paying registation and made to be identifiable ie; rego plates so we can report the idiots that dont obey road laws, stay within 1 metre of the curb,please. Why should it be just vehicle/motorbike drivers/riders that have to foot the bill for their smooth ride?

    1 Reply
  10. crackabundy07:35pm Saturday 19th March 2011 ESTReport Abuse

    it would be nice if they (bike riders), would just follow the road rules.

    1 Reply




Today's forecast: Mostly sunny

12° - 20°