Road rule reminders and safety tips


It's important that you give yourself plenty of time to understand the road rules and gain experience before you ride in traffic. 

If you are a new rider, have purchased a new bike or are getting back onto a bike after a break, refresh your riding knowledge with the below safety tips and road rules

Check for hazards

Maximise your safety when riding by constantly assessing your environment for any hazards. Scan the road for other road users, as well as potholes, gaps, uneven surfaces, debris and regularly look over your shoulder to check what is beside and behind you. Do not wear headphones when riding. You should be able to hear clearly so that you can pick up potential hazards and react quickly.

Avoid blind spots

A blind spot is an area outside a vehicle that cannot be seen easily by the driver unless they look in their rear and side mirrors and do head checks. Blind spots can be down each side of a vehicle (particularly the left-hand side), directly in front of the vehicle and at the back of a vehicle. When riding in traffic, it is important to increase your visibility by keeping out of motor vehicle blind spots. The larger the vehicle the larger the blind spots, so be particularly careful when cycling in bus lanes and where there are trucks and heavy vehicles. 

Anticipate vehicle movement

Watch other road users - look at the movement of vehicle wheels, increases or decreases in speed, brake lights and the use of indicators that signal a change of direction. Make eye contact with other road users and avoid riding alongside a motor vehicle for longer than required.


When you need to stop, apply both brakes gently so that your bike comes to a gentle halt. If you need to do an emergency stop, both brakes should be applied at the same time. 

Sharing the road with pedestrians

It’s important to be patient with pedestrians and to recognise that children, older people, and people with disabilities such as low vision 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. 

You can find the road rules for interacting with pedestrians on the Bike riders and sharing the road web page

Shared zone & paths

Slow down and give-way to pedestrians on shared paths and in shared zones. On a shared path, you must give way to pedestrians and stay to the left. Slow down and call out or ring your bell to let pedestrians know you are there.

Watch this video to see how you can ride on bike lanes, shared paths and dedicated paths to get you where you need to go. 

Multi-lane roundabouts

You should assess your own skill level before attempting to travel through a multi-lane roundabout. If you don't feel comfortable negotiating a multi-lane roundabout, take a different route. Turning right at multi-lane roundabouts can be dangerous for bicycle riders - particularly if you are unfamiliar with the area or if there is heavy traffic. You can make a right turn in one of two ways:

  • Use the outer left lane, giving way at each exit to all traffic exiting the roundabout.
  • Use the inner right lane and complete the turn in the same way a car would do.

Hand signals

You must use your right-hand to signal a change of direction to the right. But it is wise to signal with your extended hand whenever you are intending to change direction.  Always check behind you before moving right in a lane or changing lane to your right.


Before you negotiate an intersection, try to make eye contact with drivers who are giving way and make sure you use hand signals to let others know that you’re going to change direction. 

Turning left

Indicate that you intend to turn left and move off to the left when the way is clear and the signal is green. You must give way to any pedestrians crossing the road you are entering.  

You must give way to drivers who have already commenced their left-hand-turn and are on the arc of their turn when you reach the corner of the intersection. You should wait behind the turning vehicle, rather than beside it. Learn more and watch the video.

Turning right

You must use a hand signal to indicate that you want to turn right. Make sure you look over your shoulder to identify potential hazards beside or behind you before beginning to turn.

Using a hook turn is an option at any intersection and is often particularly useful if it is a fast-moving road and there are multiple lanes to negotiate. 

Hook turns

Bike riders have the option to make a hook turn at any intersection, unless signed otherwise.

When you need to turn right but don’t want to sit in the middle of the road, you may find it useful to make a hook turn. A hook turn is made in three stages, moving across the intersection to a position in front of the waiting traffic to your left, then heading across the intersection when they start to move. 

Learn more and watch the video.

Negotiating heavy traffic - freeways and highways

Freeways and highways carry large volumes of traffic with multiple high-speed traffic lanes in each direction. Most urban freeways prohibit cycling, but some rural freeways allow cyclists to use them.  

If you ride a bike along a freeway that allows cycling, or a highway, you can ride on the shoulder, if it provides a suitable surface. It is essential to take good care when riding along the shoulders of freeways and highways - particularly when approaching and crossing access ramps used by both bikes and vehicles. Be aware that you may not be able to use all sections of a freeway. Check your route before starting your journey on the Places to ride web page.  

Bike boxes

Bike storage areas, more commonly known as bike boxes, are painted areas on the road in front of the stop line that allow you to wait at traffic lights in a highly visible place that gives you a head start.

Some signalised intersections may have bike storage areas. These are painted areas on the road in front of the stop line that allow you to wait at traffic lights safely. You can enter these areas from the adjoining bike lane moving to the location within the storage area that best fits the direction you want to head off in. You must wait for the green signal before proceeding and follow the direction of the arrows on the lane directly behind you. Watch out for dedicated left-turn lanes.

Heavy vehicles

As a rider you should be particularly aware of heavy vehicles including buses and trucks. The size and weight of these vehicles results in many blind spots and they need more room to turn and brake and can often turn left by using more than one lane. 

Avoid getting into their blind spots by staying behind them at intersections and letting them go first.  Some trucks have low visibility directly in front of their cabs, so don’t sit in front of them at a stop line.  

If you’re behind a turning truck, keep back and look out for additional trailers – particularly if it needs some time to turn. Remember, if you can't see the driver, they can't see you. 

When heavy vehicles pass you at high speed, be aware that the wind may affect your stability and control of your bicycle. Watch the video to learn more.

Rail and tram tracks

Check both ways twice and listen for oncoming trains/trams before you cross a track. Observe directions given by flashing lights or boom gates warning you of an oncoming train.

To ride safely over tracks, approach at a right angle to the track to avoid your wheels getting trapped – and stop and give-way to oncoming traffic, just like a car would. Take extra care when it’s wet, as the tracks can get quite slick and increase your chances of a fall. If the crossing is too difficult to ride over, dismount and walk your bike. Be particularly careful when it is wet weather.

Tram stops

Remember to always stop at the rear of a stopped tram until all pedestrians have cleared and the doors have closed.

Bus lanes

You can ride in bus lanes that are operational. To stay safe, follow the safety tips found on the Bike riders and sharing the road web page

Side by side

You can ride side by side with another bike rider. It’s 100% legal and safe to do so.


Whether you’re driving or riding, the rules are still the same. Ride now and text later. 

Mobile phones can only be used hands free, so the phone needs to be attached to a carrier on your handlebars.


Was this page helpful?


Please tell us why (but don't leave your personal details here - message us if you need help or have questions).