Centre for Road Safety

Amendments to Road Rules from 1 July 2016

Some minor changes to the NSW Road Rules from 1 July 2016 clarify existing road rules and make them easier to understand. Most of these changes do not require a change in general driver behaviour. However, the changes affect all road users, so it is important that everyone is aware of the rules.

The main changes are:

Rules 98, 99 – Bicycle paths and separated footpaths have been added to the list of places where bicycle riders do not have to ride in the same direction as indicated by traffic signs on the road, which are intended to be followed by drivers (e.g. one way signs; keep left/keep right signs).

Rule 245 – Clarifies that bicycle riders are allowed to stand on the pedals facing forward, for example while riding uphill.

Rule 250 – Bicycle riders with a medical condition that makes it impractical or unsafe for them to ride on the road are allowed to ride on the footpath. These bicycle riders must carry a medical certificate signed by a medical practitioner stating that the practitioner believes the rider should be allowed to ride on the footpath because of a medical condition. The certificate must include a start date and an expiry date not more than one year from the date of issue. The certificate must be produced to an officer upon request.

The exemption does not apply if there is a shared path or bicycle path available near the footpath.

A rider is also allowed to ride on the footpath when accompanying a bicycle rider with a medical condition who meets all these requirements.

Rule 262A – Makes it clear that a bicycle rider may ride through a red or yellow traffic light when a green bicycle crossing light is showing, when travelling in the same direction.

Rule 270 – A motorcycle rider who is pushing a motorcycle does not have to wear a helmet, if the engine is not running and it is safe to do so.

Rule 271(1A) (a) – A motorcycle rider may stand on the footrests of a motorcycle provided it is safe to do so, for example to help them maintain control on roads with potholes or loose gravel.

Rule 271(1A) (b) – A motorcycle rider may remove a foot from the footrest when it is safe to do so, for example to stretch.

Rule 299 – The existing ban on using television receivers and visual display units in or on motor vehicles (such as IPads and DVD players) is extended to all vehicles, such as bicycles.

Drivers and riders may only use a visual display unit as a driver’s aid, such as a GPS unit, if it is in a secure cradle fixed to the vehicle or an integrated part of the vehicle. Visual display units can still be used when the vehicle is parked. Penalty: $325 and 3 demerit points. In a school zone: $433 and 4 demerit points.

Rule 300 – Makes it clear that when drivers make or receive a call from their mobile phone, it can only be a voice call. Drivers cannot use their phone to make video calls using apps such as Skype or Facetime. All other rules for using a mobile phone while driving, including mounting, apply. Penalty: $325 and 4 demerit points. In a school zone: $433 and 4 demerit points.

More information

For further information on NSW Roads Rules visit the Roads and Maritime website or call Service NSW on 13 77 88.

A fully updated version of the NSW Road Rules 2014 is available on the New South Wales Government legislation website.

The road rules changes for NSW outlined above are based on changes to the Australian Road Rules, which have been determined at a national level.

Our road rules animations help clarify some common misunderstandings, including how to properly indicate at a roundabout, when to use high-beam and fog lights, and when it is permitted to make a U-turn at traffic lights.

Laws for cyclists helps explain the road rules that apply to bicycle riders in NSW.