Road Rules


Under the Australian Road Rules, a bike is considered a vehicle and is required by law to obey road rules, including stopping at red lights and stop signs. The NSW Roads and Maritime Services is responsible for road safety in NSW.

New rules about passing distances and increased penalties were introduced in March 2016. Read about them here.


Bike riders can:

  • Pass other vehicles on the left, except when those vehicles are indicating and turning left.
  • Travel to the front of traffic on the left hand side of stopped vehicles, except when those vehicles are indicating and turning left.
  • Take up a whole lane of traffic.
  • Ride a maximum of two abreast in a lane as long as they are not more than 1.5m apart.
  • Travel in bus lanes and transit lanes.

Bike riders cannot:

  • Ride on the footpath, unless the bike rider is under the age of 16, accompanying a rider under 16, or the footpath is a designated shared path.



When riding a bike, you must have:

  • An approved helmet – worn at all times when riding a bike. This applies to all riders regardless of age.
  • Front and rear lights – fitted and in use if riding at night. Your bike must also have a red rear reflector.
  • A bell or horn (warning device) – fitted within easy reach and in working order.

More information

Visit the NSW Government Bicycle Information website for NSW Road Rules and more information.

Read Pedal Power: Cycling and the law in NSW put together by Redfern Legal Centre.


Think of the impact


Find out more about our campaign to raise awareness of, and reduce car dooring in the city.


Over 15,000 people subscribe to our e-newsletter. Join them: