Centre for Road Safety

Obey the road rules

Bicycle riders in NSW must obey the road rules. They must stop at red lights or stop signs, give way as indicated by road signs and give hand signals when changing direction. Under the Road Rules on the NSW legislation website, a bicycle is considered a vehicle and has the same road rules as other vehicles.

Our Go Together campaign shows bicycle riders and other road users how to respect each other’s space and ensure that everyone stays safe.

Helmets

The helmet laws for cyclists of all ages in NSW help prevent head injuries and brain damage from falls and crashes. The Road Rules state that a bicycle rider on roads and road-related areas must wear an approved bicycle helmet securely fitted and fastened. This applies to all bicycle riders, regardless of age, including children on bicycles with training wheels and any child being carried as a passenger on a bike or in a bicycle trailer. 

Special road rules for cyclists

Footpaths

Children under 16 years of age can ride on a footpath. An adult rider who is supervising a bicycle rider under 16 may also ride with the young rider on the footpath. Bicycle riders are allowed to ride on footpaths where indicated by signs. When riding on a footpath or shared path, riders must keep left and give way to pedestrians.

Roundabouts

Bicycle riders are allowed to turn right from the left-hand lane. When passing each exit, bicycle riders must give way to any vehicle leaving the roundabout.

Transit lanes

Transit lanes are used for vehicles containing a certain number of people. These lanes may also be used by buses, taxis, hire cars, motorcycles, bicycle riders and emergency vehicles, no matter how many people are in them.

Bicycle lane signs have a picture of a bike with the word LANE underneath.

Bicycle lanes

When a bicycle lane is marked on the road and has bicycle lane signs, bicycle riders must use it unless it is impracticable to do so. Although these lanes are for bicycle riders, cars may use them for not more than 50 metres to enter or leave the road at a driveway or intersection.

Bus lanes

Bus lanes can also be used by bicycle riders, motorcyclists, taxis, hire cars and vehicles operated by, or under the direction of transport authorities.

Bus-only lanes

When the words ‘Buses Only’ appear on a bus-lane sign, only buses are allowed to drive in these lanes.

Side by side

Bicycle riders are allowed to ride two abreast, but not more than 1.5 metres apart.

Shared paths

Across NSW, shared paths can be used by both pedestrians and bicycle riders. Always travel at a speed that is safe for you and the pedestrians you encounter.