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NSW Road Rules

Bicycle laws and penalties in NSW

Under the NSW road rules, a bicycle is considered a vehicle. As such, bicycle riders are required to obey the road rules, including stopping at red lights or stop signs, giving way as indicated by signage and giving hand signals when changing direction.

It is compulsory to wear a correctly fitted approved helmet when riding a bike in NSW.

This applies to all bicycle riders, regardless of age, including children on bicycles with training wheels and any child being carried as a passenger on a bike or in a trailer.


Some road rules apply specifically to bicycle riders. For example, bicycle riders are allowed to:

  • Ride two abreast, no more than 1.5 m apart
  • Overtake on the left hand side of stopped or slow moving vehicles
  • Travel in Bus Lanes and Transit Lanes
  • Ride on the footpath if less than 12 years old
  • Ride on the footpath if you are an adult riding with, and supervising, an under 12 year old
  • Ride on the footpath if you are carrying a person under 10 years old as a passenger on your bicycle or in or on a bicycle trailer you are towing - not a pedicab
  • Turn right from the left hand lane of a multi-lane roundabout with the proviso that you give way to traffic exiting the roundabout before you
  • Travel on road shoulders.

Bicycle riders cannot:

  • Ride across unsignalised pedestrian crossings
  • Ride across signalised crossings unless there are special bicycle lights
  • Travel in Bus Only Lanes.

Bicycle lanes are indicated by a special sign.

Where bicycle lanes are provided, riders must use them whenever practicable.

Regulatory bicycle lane sign

Your bicycle must have:

  • At least one working brake
  • A bell or horn to help sound a warning to other cyclists or pedestrians.

If riding at night, your bicycle must also have:

  • A steady or flashing white light that is clearly visible for at least 200 metres
  • A flashing or steady red light that is clearly visible for at least 200 metres from the rear of the bike
  • A red rear reflector that is clearly visible for 50 metres when light is projected onto it by a vehicle's headlight on low beam

Failing to obey road or bicycle rules may result in a fine.


Cyclists - the rules and your rights

Motorists - sharing the road with cyclists


Further Reading

Link to Roads and Maritime Services - Road Users brochure in a range of languages html page image 2012 changes to the NSW Road Rules  - From 1 November 2012, changes to NSW Road Rules came into effect. This brochure is available in multiple languages. Arabic, Chinese, English, Greek, Italian, Turkish and Vietnamese.
Link to Roads and Maritime Services - Road Users Handbooks

html page image Road Users' Handbook - The Road Users Handbook explains the main rules which apply to all road users and must be read and understood if you want to hold a driver licence in NSW and is available in a number of languages.

The legal alcohol limit in NSW for all learner and provisional (P1 and P2) licence holders is zero.

a handbook for bicycle riders pdf image A Handbook for Bicycle Riders | PDF 2.17MB - provides you with valuable tips on road safety, bicycle maintenance, road rules and the legal aspects of riding your bicycle.


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