Bike riders and sharing the road

Here you can find tips about how drivers, pedestrians and bike riders can share the road safely.

How bike riders should share the road with pedestrians

There are road rules for drivers and riders to follow when interacting with pedestrians, for example:
  • Drivers must give way to pedestrians at a pedestrian crossing, and must not overtake another vehicle which has stopped at a pedestrian crossing. 
  • When approaching a pedestrian crossing, drive at a speed that lets you stop safely. 
  • When turning at any intersection (except a roundabout), you must give way to any pedestrians crossing the road you are entering. 
  • At roundabouts be aware of pedestrians needing to cross, slow down and give them the space and time they need.
  • When entering or leaving a driveway, you must give way to pedestrians and bicycles on any footpath, path or nature strip you cross.
  • In a shared zone shared, you must give way to pedestrians 
  • You must give way to any pedestrian at or near the stop sign or line.  This includes pedestrians as well as bicycles crossing in front of you. 

How drivers should share the road with bike riders

  • Be patient and keep your distance from bike riders, at least one metre, more if you’re traveling over 60km/h.
  • After overtaking, make sure you are well clear of the bike rider before moving back.
  • Watch out for bike riders at intersections and roundabouts.
  • Drive cautiously and watch out for bike riders in residential streets.
  • Check behind you before opening your car door, use your mirrors and do a head check. 
  • Do not drive in bicycle lanes.
  • Give way to bike riders in bicycle lanes if you are turning across the lane.
  • Indicate when pulling out, changing lanes or turning, so bike riders know your intentions.
  • View our video Checking for cyclists and motorcyclists (External link) for more information about how to be aware of cyclists when opening your car door
  • Check behind you before opening your car door, use your mirrors and do a head check.  Make sure your passengers are careful when opening their car doors too.

How bike riders should share the road with drivers

  • Make sure you use hand signals when required to let others know when you are going to change direction.
  • Obey road rules and stop at red lights and stop signs.
  • Ride in bike lanes where they are provided, unless impractical to do so.
  • Use lights front and back at night and at times of low light.  It is safer to use lights during daylight too.

How bike riders should share the road with trucks

  • Trucks have huge blind spots and may not see you at all if you are positioned down either side of them, or directly in the front of them.  Try to avoid being in their blind spots when approaching an intersection or when stopped in a bike box.
 Cyclists need to stay out of the trucks blind spot 
  •  When trucks are turning, keep out of their way.  Stay behind them so that you can see what they are doing, and keep out of their blind spot.

Truck turning? cyclist stay back

  • Wait behind trucks when they are turning left, do not lane filter into their blind spot.

  • Trucks can be very long, and double the length of the first section you see.  They can have a trailer attached of almost the same length, otherwise known as a 'dog'.

Truck and trailer (dog)

Sharing the road with pedestrians who are visually impaired

Blindness and low vision is not always well understood within the community. It is important that all road users know how to identify people who are vision impaired, so they can act accordingly.

People who are vision impaired have less information when making decisions about where and when to cross the road. Other senses such as hearing can assist, but do not compensate for the loss of vision.

When driving, riding a motor bike or bicycle, it is important to be patient with pedestrians and to recognise that people who use canes or dogs may take longer to cross the road. Also be aware that a person who is vision impaired may not make eye contact, or respond to visual gestures.

Helpful information

Travel Happy - Share the Road 

Follow this link to the Travel Happy - Share the Road website (External link) for further ideas about how to share roads and paths safely.

Road Rules that help us share the road

See below for some of the road rules that help us share the road safely.

Yes, except for a few differences and some additional rules for bike riders.

Bike riders must signal when turning right, and can help share the road more safely by riding predictably, using eye contact and indicating all changes of direction.

Yes, except when those vehicles are indicating and turning left.

Only if accompanying a bike rider under the age of 12, or if suffering a disability and carrying a relevant medical certificate or otherwise exempted. Bike riders must always give way to pedestrians on footpaths and shared paths.

Allow at least a metre clearance, and more if travelling at over 60 km/h.

A bike rider must use a front light, rear light (flashing or steady), and a rear red reflector when riding at night or in conditions where visibility is poor.

Yes, this may be necessary in narrow traffic lanes where there is not enough space for another vehicle to overtake a bicycle safely within the lane.

Yes, but for no more than 50 metres, and only where necessary to pass a vehicle turning right, to enter or leave a side street, another traffic lane or parking space, or when stopping or parking if allowed.

Yes, this is a particular danger for bike riders, and a driver or passenger who does so can be fined, so please use your mirrors and do a head check before opening a car door.

Yes, unless impracticable to do so.

Yes, bike riders cycling on roads or paths are required to wear a properly fastened Australian standards approved bicycle helmet.

Yes, but they must not ride more than 1.5 metres apart.

Cycling Codes of Conduct

On 17 July 2013, the Amy Gillett Foundation launched a consolidated cycling code of conduct titled ‘Sharing Roads and Paths’. The code brings key cycling related road rules and responsibilities together into one easy to use guide aimed at informing all road users on how to share spaces safely with bicycle riders.

Download a copy of Sharing Roads and Paths [PDF 856 Kb]

Cycling Victoria have also developed the ‘Code of Conduct for Training Cyclists’. It is designed to encourage safe riding by bike riders, particularly when riding in groups. 

Download a copy of the Code of Conduct for Training Cyclists [PDF 1.2Mb]

The purpose of both Codes of Conduct are to encourage bike riders to ride in a safer manner, to increase their compliance with the road rules and to show more respect for other road users.

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