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Road Rules For Cyclists (NSW)

Under the Road Rules 2014, a bicycle is a ‘vehicle’ and the road rules for cyclists are the same as the road rules as drivers. There are also some special road rules for cyclists on New South Wales roads.

Bicycle riders can be penalised if they commit offences on the roads. Penalties are generally issued by police on the spot.

Road rules for cyclists

Special road rules for cyclists on New South Wales roads are listed below.

  • Cyclists may perform hook turns at intersections unless signage indicates otherwise;
  • Cyclists do not need to indicate a left-hand turn or signal when doing a hook turn;
  • Cyclists may ride two abreast provided they are not more than 1.5 metres apart;
  • A cyclist may overtake two other cyclists who are riding two abreast;
  • Cyclists may ride in a bus lane, tram lane, transit lane or truck lane but not in a Bus Only lane;
  • Cyclists may ride to the left of a continuous white edge line;
  • Cyclists may overtake on the left.

Responsibilities of cyclists

Responsibilities held by bicycle rides on New South Wales roads are listed below.

  • Cyclists must sit on the rider’s seat and have at least one hand on the handlebars;
  • The bicycle must have at least one functioning brake and a horn or bell;
  • Cyclists riding at night must wear a white light at the front and a red light at the rear;
  • Cyclists must use the marked bicycle lane unless it is impractical to do so;
  • Cyclists must not carry more people on a bike than it is designed to carry;
  • Cyclists must not ride on crossings unless there is a green bicycle light;
  • Cyclists and passengers must wear helmets securely fitted and fastened;
  • Cyclists must not be towed by or hold onto another moving vehicle.
  • Cyclists turning right at roundabouts can do so from the left lane but must give way to any vehicle leaving the roundabout.

Footpaths and shared paths

Cyclists are not allowed to ride on footpaths. However, children aged under 16 are permitted to ride on footpaths unless there is a ‘no bicycles’ sign. Paths that are designed for cyclists and pedestrians are signposted. When riding on a shared path, you must keep left and ride at a speed suited to the environment.

Hand signals

When riding on the roads, you are required to use hand signals to indicate when you are turning right or changing lanes.


You can receive an on the spot fine for the following offences on a bicycle:

Negligent riding

You can be fined for riding in a negligent or dangerous manner ie. In a way that endangers the life of yourself or others.

Drink riding

It is an offence to ride a bike while affected by alcohol. You can be fined or imprisoned for drink riding.

Not wearing a helmet

You can be fined for failing to wear a helmet while riding or failing to have your helmet securely fastened.

Minimum passing distance

New South Wales drivers are now required to leave a minimum gap of one metre when passing a cyclist traveling in the same direction as them where the speed limit is 60 or less. When the speed limit is more than 60, motorists must leave a minimum gap of 1.5 metres. Drivers who contravene this rule face a penalty of $330 fine and two demerit points.

If you need legal support in a traffic matter or in any other legal matter please contact Go To Court Lawyers.


Fernanda Dahlstrom

Fernanda Dahlstrom has a Bachelor of Laws from Latrobe University, a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the College of Law, a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne and a Master of Arts (Writing and Literature) from Deakin University. Fernanda practised law for eight years, working in criminal defence, child protection and domestic violence law in the Northern Territory. She also practised in family law after moving to Brisbane in 2016.

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