Road rules for riding a bike in Victoria

If you ride a bike, there are some rules to follow. On the road, the same basic rules apply whether you are riding a bike or driving a car. Some specific rules apply when you are riding a bike. Read about them on this page.

General rules when riding a bike

You must wear a helmet

Anyone riding a bike must wear a proper fitting bike helmet that meets the Australian/New Zealand safety standard AS/NZS 2063. Look for the AS/NZS sticker when you buy a helmet. 

Read our Getting started section for advice on fitting a helmet correctly. 

Get more information about helmets, helmet laws and exemptions . 

Equipment on your bike

By law, your bike must be fitted with:

  • a rear red reflector
  • a bell
  • at least one working brake.

When riding at night and in low-light, you must use a front white light and a rear red light. The light can be flashing or steady but must be seen from 200 metres away. 
It is also a good idea to use flashing lights during the day to help other road users see you.

12 years and under with illustration of child riding a bicycle on the footpath; 13 years and older plus 12 years and under with illustration of two bike riders riding on the footpath; child and adult together with illustration of an adult riding a bike with a child seat and child sitting in the seat, and an adult riding a bike with a child on a tag a long bike attached to their bike.  Rules about where you can ride

Riding on the footpath

Children aged 12 years or younger can ride on footpaths. People older than this may ride on a footpath if they are riding with a child aged 12 or younger. 

Adults aged 18 years or older can also ride on the footpath with a young child in a bike seat attached to the bike. 

People riding on footpaths must always give way to pedestrians. 

Riding on shared paths

Shared paths are used by people walking and people riding. This includes joggers, people on scooters and dog walkers. 

Signs and symbols show it is a shared space.

image of bike rider riding on a shared path, with a sign saying it is a shared footway with a picture of a bicycle and a pedestrian.

Keep left when you are riding and give way to people on foot. Slow down around pedestrians. Use your bell or call out to let people know you are passing. Leave space when passing so other path users feel safe. 

Riding on roads

You can ride your bike on roads unless there is a sign prohibiting it (e.g. on metropolitan freeways). You must ride in a bike lane if there is one unless it is not practical to do so. 

Rules for riding on the road – the basics

It is important to know the basic road rules before you ride on the road. If you are not familiar with them, the VicRoads handbook for learning to drive [PDF 8.2 Mb]  is a good place to learn. 

You must obey all traffic lights, signals, signs and road markings. You must follow the road rules on stopping and giving way. For example, a red light means stop for all vehicles, including when riding a bike.

Victoria Law Foundation’s Bike law booklet (External link) is a detailed guide to all bike-related road rules in Victoria. These are summarised below. 

: image with words Bike riders give way to drivers already turning and indicating left, with image of a bicycle and a car turning leftSignalling

You must signal before turning right by extending your right arm. It is also good practice to signal if you intend to turn left, if you can do it safely.

You must not overtake a vehicle on the left when it is signalling to turn left. Otherwise, you may overtake a vehicle on the left or the right, if it is safe to do so and you can see approaching traffic clearly. 

Riding in a traffic lane

A bike rider is allowed to take up a whole traffic lane. In low-speed environments, you may want to ‘take the lane’ when it is narrow or when you are preparing to turn right or move through a roundabout. See also our Riding know-how  section. 

Two bike riders may ride side by side on the road if they are no more than 1.5 metres apart. 

Using hook turns to turn right

bike riders can use a hook turn to turn right (unless signed otherwise)

image of a intersection showing how a bike rider can make a hook turn.  Riders may use a hook turn to turn right at any intersection where a right turn is allowed. This is often a safer option for riders, especially at busy or higher speed intersections. 
RACV has a video (External link) on how to make a hook turn. You can also read our Riding know-how section.   

Using pedestrian crossings

People walking have priority at pedestrian crossings, including zebra crossings and signal crossings. If you use a pedestrian crossing when riding, you must get off your bike and walk unless there is a bike lantern and space for cyclists. 

Walking your bike across the crossing gives drivers more time to see you and stop. 

If you approach a crossing when riding on the road, you must stop and give way to people on the crossing. 

Mobile phones

Just like in a car, you can only use a mobile phone if it is ‘hands-free’. It must be fixed to your bike or in your pocket or bag. Pull over if you need to call or text.

 

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