Getting around

Road rules for bikes

Your questions answered

Cycling in the city

Len Woodman is our resident Road Rules guru. We asked him a few questions so we’re all clear on our rights and responsibilities.

What are the road rules for bike riders?

Bike riders can pass other vehicles. They can ride to the front of traffic on the left if there is room, except when those vehicles turn left. They should ride with care as they could be in the driver’s blind spot. Some drivers leave their turn signal late.

Can I ride in a bus lane?

Yes, you can ride in bus lanes and transit lanes. You can’t ride in bus only lanes or in bus lanes that turn into an Authorised Vehicles Only lane.

Can I take up a whole traffic lane?

Yes. If there is plenty of space though, you should ride slightly to the left so other vehicles can pass you.

However, never ride in the door zone of parked cars or in the gutter, no matter how busy the road. The most important thing is to ride predictably so that drivers are confident around you.

You can also ride two abreast in a lane but not more than 1.5 metres apart.

Can I ride on the footpath?

Generally, no. However you can if you are under the age of 16, accompanying a rider under 16 or carrying a child on a suitable seat. You can ride on designated shared paths.

What happens if I exceed the speed limit?

If the posted speed limit is exceeded, a rider may be fined.

Anything else I need to know?

When riding a bike, you must wear an approved helmet. Your bike should be fitted with front and rear lights, turned on at night, a red rear reflector, and a bell or horn (warning device).

Your bike should be roadworthy, keep it well maintained.

Published 8 September 2014, updated 18 January 2019