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. 

Footpaths

Since 23 July 2018, children under 16 years of age are allowed to ride on a footpath (increased from children under 12 years of age). Allowing children under the age of 16 on the footpath will help keep them safe until they have the skills, decision making and knowledge of the rules to ride safely on the road.

An adult rider who is supervising a bicycle rider under 16 may also ride with the young rider on the footpath. Children aged 16 or 17 can ride on the footpath, when accompanied by a child under 16 and a supervising adult.

When riding on a footpath, riders must keep left and give way to pedestrians.

For more information on how to stay safe when riding on the footpath, see our Safe Riding Tips.

Shared paths

Across NSW, shared paths can be used by both pedestrians and bicycle riders of all ages. Bicycle riders must keep left and give way to pedestrians on shared paths.

 

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.

Special purpose lanes

Bicycle riders may ride in transit lanes, tram lanes, tuck lanes and bus lanes, but not bus only lanes.

Riding side by side

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

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.