Centre for Road Safety

Since 1 March 2016, drivers must give bicycle riders at least 1 metre of space when passing. Our video shows how the rules affect you, and how you can help ensure that we all Go Together safely on our roads. Read a transcript.

Drivers, bicycle riders and pedestrians all need to Go Together safely. We should all respect each other's space and ensure that everyone stays safe. On average, nine bicycle riders are killed and more than 1900 seriously injured in NSW each year. Cyclists represent about 2.5 per cent of total road fatalities and about 16 per cent of serious injuries.

Our FAQs have more detailed information.

The Roads and Maritime website has more information for bicycle riders including riding maps, how traffic signals operate for bicycle riders and the latest infrastructure projects. Bicycle riders can also report traffic hazards or sensor plate issues.

Drivers must give bicycle riders at least a metre of space

The Minimum Passing Distance rule helps ensure that bicycle riders and motorists remain safe when sharing our roads. Since 1 March 2016, drivers who pass a bicycle rider must allow a distance of at least:

  • 1 metre when the speed limit is 60km/h or less
  • 1.5 metres when the speed limit is more than 60km/h

If drivers cannot pass a bicycle rider safely, they should slow down and wait until it is safe to pass the rider, leaving the minimum distance. To help drivers provide the minimum distance, some exemptions to the road rules will apply.

Drivers will be exempt from the following rules, as long as it is safe to pass the bicycle rider with at least a metre of space and they have a clear view of approaching traffic:

  • Keep to the left of the centre of the road (two-way road with no dividing line)
  • Keep to the left of the centre of a dividing line - broken and unbroken lines
  • Keep off a flat dividing strip
  • Keep off a flat painted island
  • Driving within a single marked lane or line of traffic
  • Moving from one marked lane to another across a continuous line separating the lanes

Penalty

Drivers caught not allowing the minimum distance when passing a bicycle
rider face a $330 fine and a penalty of two demerit points.

Bicycle riders encouraged to carry ID

While the majority of cyclists in NSW already carry identification when riding, all bicycle riders are encouraged to carry some form of identification to improve the efficiency of emergency response if they are injured in a crash.

Cycling NSW and Bicycle NSW encourage greater participation in cycling and provide safe riding tips and information on how to get started, join local cycling groups and find popular cycling routes.

Increased penalties

Like drivers, the majority of bicycle riders have safety in mind most of
the time. The increased penalties only apply to riders who behave
dangerously and break the law.

Fines for five offences increased on 1 March 2016, so that bicycle riders receive the
same fines as motorists for high risk behaviour. Increased penalties
apply to bicycle riders who are caught:

  • Not wearing a helmet - increased from a level 1 fine (previously $71) to a level 5 fine, $330
  • Running a red light - increased from a level 1 fine (previously $71) to a level 6 fine, $439
  • Riding dangerously - increased from a level 1 fine (previously $71) to a level 6 fine, $439
  • Holding on to a moving vehicle - increased from a level 1 fine (previously $71) to a level 5 fine, $330
  • Not stopping at children's/pedestrian crossings - increased from a level 1 fine (previously $71) to a level 6 fine, $439

Penalties for other bicycle rider offences have increased from a level 1 fine (previously $71) to a level 2 fine, $110, including the offence of riding at night without lights.

Bicycle riders should provide pedestrians with a metre of space on shared paths

Bicycle riders are also encouraged to allow pedestrians a metre of space on shared paths, where possible.