Centre for Road Safety

Drivers need to watch for cyclists in traffic.

Equal rights

Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers and motorcycle riders. Drivers must watch out for cyclists as they are smaller than cars and harder to see. Cyclists also have the right, like other vehicles, to travel on roads and be shown courtesy and care by other road users.

Drivers must give bicycle riders at least a metre of space

From 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

Our Go Together campaign has more information for drivers on the laws to help everyone respect each other's space and stay safe on the road.

Tips when driving near cyclists

  • Cyclists are more difficult to see than cars or trucks, especially at night. Take care to check for bicycle riders in blind spots and especially when turning at intersections.
  • Sometimes a bicycle can travel faster than a car, particularly in slow-moving traffic. Never underestimate their speed and do not to cut them off by moving in front of them. Remember that it takes cyclists longer to stop than cars.
  • Check in your rear-view and side mirrors to avoid opening your car door into the path of bicycle riders. It can be dangerous and is legally your fault.
  • At times, bicycle riders may need the full width of a lane to ride safely because of rough road edges and gravel. Be prepared to slow down and allow the rider to travel away from the kerb.
  • Children on bikes can be unpredictable – be prepared to slow down and stop
  • Cyclists are allowed to ride two abreast (side by side)
Bicycle rider safety - It's a two-way street.