Centre for Road Safety

Over the last two years, five food delivery riders have been killed on NSW roads. Of these, three were bicycle riders and two were motorcycle riders.

Food delivery riders provide many goods and services to the community, but can face risks when working on our roads. It’s important for all road users to play a role in managing these dangers and help keep food delivery riders safe on NSW roads.

Safe practices

High visibility

Bicycle and motorcycle food delivery riders are vulnerable road users and must take precautions to ensure they are highly visible when riding. To make it easier for other road users to see you, food delivery riders should:

  • Always wear fluorescent and/or reflective clothing
  • Have reflective strips affixed to all visible parts of your delivery bags, including the front, the whole width to the rear and sides of the bag, as well as on the straps facing the front
  • Consider wearing a fluorescent helmet or adding reflective strips to your helmet.

Any additional retro-reflective strips are best attached to the front, sides and rear of the helmet. Consult the supplier for guidance on choosing appropriate materials, so the adhesives of the retro-reflective markings do not damage the outer shell of the helmet. Care should also be taken so that the strips are not applied where they cover vents, visors or straps.

Motorcycle food delivery riders must have their lights on between sunset and sunrise and in bad weather, while bicycle food delivery riders are required to display appropriate lights and reflectors at night and in hazardous weather conditions.

Helmets

Both motorcycle and bicycle food delivery riders are required by law to wear an approved helmet that is securely fitted and fastened to their head.

Motorcyclists must wear an approved motorcycle helmet that is protective for motorcycle riders and complies with the Australian and New Zealand standard for motorcycle helmets.

Bicycle riders must wear a helmet that meets the Australian and New Zealand standard for bicycle helmets.

For more information on the most effective types of safety gear to use while riding, please visit our riding gear pages for bicycle riders and motorcyclists.

The MotoCAP website provides motorcyclists with product ratings to help choose the right gear to provide the best protection and comfort for their ride.

Safe riding

Knowing how to respond to the road environment, including avoiding hazards, is essential to food delivery rider safety. Safe riding practices will help reduce risks for bicycle riders and motorcyclists.

Motorcyclists can find detailed riding tips and safety information on the Ride to Live website.

There is also more information in the Handbook for Bicycle Riders (PDF, 2.8Mb) and the Motorcycle Riders’ Handbook (PDF, 1.2Mb).

Road rules

Bicycle and motorcycle riders are generally required to follow the same road rules as other vehicles, but there are some rules that apply specifically to them.

Bicycle riders

When riding a bicycle, you must obey the road rules. You must stop at red lights or stop signs, give way as indicated by road signs and give hand signals when changing direction.

Remember that it is illegal to ride on the footpath, unless you are under 16 years old or otherwise exempt. If you need to use the footpath to access the food retailer or delivery address, you must dismount and wheel your bicycle along the footpath.

Road rules has more information for bicycle riders, including special rules that only apply when riding a bicycle.

E-bikes

When riding an e-bike, you must follow the rules for bicycle riders. E-bikes must meet specific requirements to be used on NSW roads and road related areas. E-bikes and petrol-powered bicycles has more information on permitted e-bikes, including recent updates to e-bike requirements.

Motorcyclists

Motorcyclists are required to obey the road rules, including the laws on lane filtering. Lane filtering is when a motorcycle rider moves alongside vehicles that have either stopped or are moving slowly (less than 30 km/h), and can only be done when it is safe and legal to do so.

View our lane filtering FAQs for more detailed information on how to lane filter safely and legally.

Tips for drivers

Drivers also have a responsibility to keep food delivery riders safe on our roads, so it’s important to follow the tips on sharing the road with bicycle riders. Drivers can also find effective ways of sharing the road with motorcyclists on the Ride to Live website.

Industry information

Food delivery platforms play a fundamental role in ensuring the safety and well-being of their food delivery riders. Our Road Safety in Your Workplace program provides workplaces and employees with information and strategies to ensure workers move around safely on our roads. 

Food delivery platforms are encouraged to contact us for more information on how to keep food delivery riders safe by emailing towardszero@transport.nsw.gov.au.

Resources

Reflective markings on helmet factsheet

Quick road safety tips flyer

Increasing visibility on our roads factsheet

Frequently Asked Questions - Motorcycles

Frequently Asked Questions - Bicycles 

High-visibility delivery bags