FAQs for bike riders

If there is a bike lane do I have to use it?

Yes, unless that's not a practical option. For example, if the lane is blocked.

Can cars enter bike lanes?

Bike lanes are reserved for bike riders. But car drivers can enter and drive in a bike lane for up to 50 metres:

  • to enter or leave a road
  • to overtake to the left of a vehicle turning right or doing a U-turn from the centre of the road
  • to park
  • to get from one part of the road to another
  • to enter traffic, having been parked on the side of the road
  • to pick up or drop off passengers – but only if they are driving a taxi or public bus
  • if there is a sign saying car drivers can also use the lane.

Car drivers must always give way to any bike riders already in the lane.

Can bike riders overtake to the left of a vehicle that is turning left?

No. You must not overtake a vehicle on the left if it is turning left and indicating left.

Do bike riders have to give way at roundabouts?

Yes. Before entering a roundabout, you must give way to other vehicles already on it. When on a roundabout, you must give way to other vehicles leaving it.

What can I be fined for?

You can be fined for breaking the road rules. Common fines include fines for:

  • not using bike lights and a reflector at night or in poor weather
  • not wearing a securely fitted and approved bike helmet
  • not obeying traffic signs such as a 'Stop' sign
  • not giving way to pedestrians at crossings or on shared paths
  • not stopping behind a tram
  • riding on a footpath (unless you're allowed to)
  • not stopping at a level crossing.

Do bike riders have to give way to pedestrians?

Bike riders must give way to pedestrians who are crossing on the road they are turning into, even if there are no pedestrian lights or they are not green. Bike riders also have to give way to pedestrians at pedestrian crossings, as well as on shared paths and footpaths.

What's a safe way to turn right at an intersection?

If you want to turn right at an intersection, doing a hook turn is often a safer option. Bike riders can do a hook turn at any intersection unless a sign prohibits it.

How much space should motorists leave when overtaking bikes?

When overtaking a bike, car drivers should keep at least a metre clear, and more than that if going over 60 km/h.

How can I avoid being 'doored'?

Drivers and passengers must not cause a hazard to a bike rider by opening a car door. It's an offence if they do. But here are some tips for avoiding being doored:

  • Slow down and stay out of the car door zone.
  • Look out for people getting in and out of parked cars.
  • Be visible: wear bright clothing and use flashing lights, even in daylight.

Can I use a mobile phone while riding my bike?

You can use a mobile phone as long as it’s fixed to your bike, ‘hands-free’ and only used for calls, listening to music or GPS navigation.

When riding a bike, you must not hold a mobile phone, use it to send text messages or touch it in any way.

For your safety, it is better not to use your phone at all while riding.

Can I take my bike on a train?

You can. But you must not board at the first door of the first carriage – you’ll get in the way of people using wheelchairs and mobility scooters. If you have a folding bike, you can board at any door. You must not block the doorway of the train or ride your bike on the platform.

Can I take my bike on a bus or tram?

You cannot take your bike on a bus or tram unless it is a folding bike. For more information, visit the Public Transport Victoria website.

Where can I park my bike?

You can park your bike on a footpath as long as it’s not in the way and you are not breaking any local laws. If you are allowed to park, use a bike rack or rail if there is one available. But you cannot park at all where there is a ‘No Parking’ sign or similar.

Is it illegal to ride a bike if you're drunk or have taken drugs?

It’s not only dangerous to ride your bike if you’re drunk or drug-affected – it’s also against the law.

Here are some organisations that assist bike riders with road rules, bike safety and insurance.
This page was last updated on May 26, 2017