Bicycle road rules you need to know

By Sergeant Mark DeManuele from the Sydney City Street Policing Team, supervisor of the Bicycle Unit


It is a legal requirement for you to adhere to the Australian Road Rules as outlined by your state.

Below are some of the most pertinent road rules for bicycle riders in New South Wales, along with the penalties that will be incurred if these rules are violated.

Riders over 12 years old must not use the footpath – $108 fine

Riders must wear a helmet correctly – $325 fine

Rider negligence that results in collision with a pedestrian – $433 fine

Riders must not ride through a red traffic light – $425 fine

Riders must stop at pedestrian crossings – $425 fine

The following bicycle road rules must also be adhered to:

You should always adjust your speed to your environment – some shared paths have enforceable speed limits.

Bicycle riders must ensure their bike has at least one working brake and a fully functioning bell, horn, or similar warning device.

Bicycle riders must not ride a bike at night or in hazardous weather conditions unless the bike displays a flashing or steady white light from the front, and a flashing or steady red light from the rear. The bike also requires a red reflector which is visible from the rear.

Bicycle riders must use a bike lane where one is available. If there is no bicycle lane, ride to the left of the road and avoid grates, debris and parked cars.

Bicycle riders are not permitted to use a lane when the words ‘Buses Only’ appear on a bus lane sign or lane markings.

When in the left lane of a multi-lane roundabout and wanting to turn right, bicycle riders must give way to any vehicle leaving the roundabout.

For more information on bicycle road rules in New South Wales, please visit New South Wales’s Bicycle Safety Rules. If you are riding in a different state within Australia, I advise you check with your local rules and regulations:

Bicycle guidance in Queensland

Bicycle guidance in Western Australia

Bicycle guidance in Victoria 

Bicycle guidance in Australian Capital Territory 

Bicycle guidance in South Australia 

Sergeant Mark DeManuele