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Cyclists - the rules and your rights

Share and be aware - travelling together safely

Cycling is a healthy, efficient and environmentally friendly method of transport. In this section you'll find advice for cyclists about how to share the road safely, and information on using shared paths.

On your bike

Two adult cyclists in bicycle designated path imageWhen cycling on the road it is important to be visible, predictable in your actions and aware of what is happening around you. You also need to wear a correctly fitted, approved bicycle helmet. For day riding, wear bright coloured clothing and reflective clothing at night. Lights and reflectors, front and back, are also needed for night riding.

As a bicycle rider always make sure you:

  • Give way to motorists and pedestrians when they have right of way.
  • Cycle about a metre away from the kerb to avoid debris and from parked cars to avoid opening doors.
  • Let people know your intentions by using hand signals when turning or changing lanes.
  • Remember, eye contact with other road users is important to signal clear intention.

Using shared paths

Across NSW there are paths that can be used by both pedestrians and bicycle riders. To avoid collisions and make using these paths a pleasant experience, both pedestrians and bicycle riders need to look out for each other and follow a few simple rules.

As a bicycle rider always make sure you:

  • Keep to the left.
  • Give way to pedestrians, slowing down or even stopping if needed.
  • Use your bell or horn, if needed, to avoid a collision.
  • Be particularly careful around older pedestrians, young children and dogs as they are often unpredictable.

Always travel at a speed that promotes safety for you and the pedestrians you encounter.

When walking on a shared path be aware that cyclists can travel much faster and may suddenly appear around a corner or behind you.

As a pedestrian make sure you:

  • Keep to the left.
  • Move off the path to the left if you wish to stop.
  • Keep animals on short leads and under control.

The road is there to share

No matter how we choose to travel - ride, drive or walk - the road is there for everyone to share. To make it work, bicycle riders, motorists, motorcyclists and pedestrians need to respect each other. By following some simple rules, together we can save lives and make travelling on the road less stressful.

Be on the defensive

When you are on or around roads, it is important to be aware of other road users and what is happening. By adopting a 'defensive manner', such as constantly scanning the road and surrounding environment for changes, recognising hazards and taking avoidance action, everyone's safety can be increased.

Your good road behaviour while cycling sends a clear message to drivers and others that cyclists should be treated as legitimate road users, and earns respect for your fellow cyclists.

Further Reading


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