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Bicycle Safety

When Vehicles and bicycles share the roads together it is important to remember to keep your distance. When drivers are passing bicycle riders they should allow for the following.

  • 1 metre when travelling speeds of 60km/h or less.
  • 1.5 metres when travelling speeds of more than 60km/h.

Safe riding tips

  1. Always wear an approved bicycle helmet when riding which is fitted and fastened properly.
  2. Always obey road rules which includes traffic lights, stops sign and give way signs.
  3. Allow pedestrians at least 1 metre space on shared paths, where possible.
  4. Always travel at a speed that is safe for you and the pedestrians you encounter, especially if you are riding on a footpath or shared path.
  5. Always ring bell when approaching pedestrians and slow down as you may need to suddenly stop or give way.
  6. Ride in a manner that is predicable so other road users know your movement and don’t have to suddenly stop.
  7. Use hand signals when turning left or right and changing lanes.
  8. Make yourself visible by wearing light, bright or reflective clothing.
  9. Plan your route using quieter streets, bicycle paths or shared paths.
  10. Always be in control of your bicycle. It is an offence to ride with both hands off the handlebars, feet off the pedals or to carry anything that prevents you from having control of the bicycle.

Bicycle riding laws

Footpaths Since 23 July 2018, children under 16 years of age are allowed to ride on a footpath.

An adult rider who is supervising a bicycle rider under the age of 16 years may also cycle with the young rider on the footpath. Children aged 16 or 17 years can ride on the footpath, when accompanied by a child under 16 years and a supervising adult.
Bicycle Lane 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.
Riding Side By Side Bicycle riders are allowed to ride two abreast, but not more than 1.5 metres apart.

By Law bicycle riders are required to wear an approved helmet securely fitted and fastened. Research has shown that helmets reduce head injuries by up to 74% in crashes with motor vehicles.

Replace your helmet if:

  • It’s been dropped onto a hard surface or involved in a crash or severe fall.
  • You see any cracks in the foam.
  • The straps look worn or frayed.

Further information on helmet wearing is outlined on the Transport for NSW website.

Horns and Bells Your bike must be fitted with a working horn or bell to help sound a warning to other cyclists or pedestrians.
What is a shared path? A shared path is an area open to the public that is designated for the use of both bicycle riders and pedestrians.  Shared paths can be identified by signs and/or pavement markings showing a pedestrian and a bike.
Rules with shared paths for 
bicycle riders

The road rules require bicycle riders to:

  • Keep to the left (unless it is impractical to do so).
  • Give way to pedestrians including wheeled recreational devices/toys. You should always slow down, stopping if necessary to avoid a collision.
  • Keep to the left of any oncoming bicycle rider.

You can also make paths safer for everyone by:

  • Providing pedestrians with a metre of space when passing.
  • Using your bell to warn others when you are approaching.
  • Travelling at a safe speed so you can stop within a safe distance of pedestrians on the path.
Rules with shared paths for pedestrians When walking on a shared path, to share the path safely, it is recommended that pedestrians:
  • Keep to the left.
  • If there is room, move off to the path to the left if you wish to stop walking.
  • Keep animals on short leads and under control.
  • Be aware of bicycle riders sharing the path. To improve your safety we recommend riders use their bell to let you know they are approaching from the behind. We also recommend you focus on the path ahead when approaching corners.

We would like to remind fellow riders who are out and about on their bicycles, rollerblades, skateboards and scooters to ride safely at all times:

  • Always wear a helmet that is securely fitted and fastened.
  • Choose bright coloured clothing that makes you more visible.
  • Watch out for pedestrians and take extra care near driveways.
  • Ride your bike, scooter, skateboard or rollerblade away from the road.

To read about the law and safety advice for bikes, scooters, skateboards and rollerblades download the Safety on wheels brochure.


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