Find out about fines for bike riders and your rights and responsibilities if you are stopped by the police.
Breaking the rules
When you break a road rule you commit a traffic offence. Minor traffic offences, such as failing to give a hand signal when you have to, are often called traffic ‘infringements’. They will usually be dealt with by an on-the-spot fine.
For more serious offences, such as riding dangerously, you could be convicted of a crime and go to prison.
If you commit a traffic infringement you will be given an ‘infringement notice’ by a police officer. The notice lists the road rule you broke, the amount of the on-the-spot fine, the due date for payment and how to pay.
For more information about traffic infringement penalties, visit the State Government of Victoria’s fines website.
Dealing with fines
When you get an on-the-spot fine for a traffic infringement you can usually pay it and avoid a court hearing and a possible criminal conviction. But if you decide not to pay the fine straight away, you can ask for it to be reviewed by the body that issued it or challenge it in court. If you’re going to court, get legal advice first.
More serious traffic offences
Just like a motorist, you can be charged with more serious traffic offences. If convicted of these offences you can get a large fine or even a prison term. Here are two examples.
You must not ride your bike carelessly on a road. For example, riding too fast for the conditions and not looking where you are going could amount to careless riding. If you are convicted of careless riding you could receive a substantial fine.
You must not risk public safety by riding your bike dangerously. For example, riding too fast for the conditions and not looking out for pedestrians could amount to dangerous riding. If you are convicted of dangerous riding, you could receive a large fine or even a prison term.
Being stopped by police
If you are riding your bike and are stopped by police for questioning regarding an offence, you must give the police your correct name and address.
It is a criminal offence not to give it, or to give a false name or address. You are not required to say anything else, even if you are arrested.
You have the right to ask a police officer for their name, rank, and the police station they are from. If asked, the police must give you those details.
If the police arrest you, they must tell you why. If you are arrested, you must go with the police, usually to a police station. You do not have to say anything, and you have the right to call a relative or friend (to tell them where you are), as well as a lawyer.