Riding on the road

Find out about the rules on riding on roads, overtaking, hook turns, roundabouts and crossings.

Bike rider in two lanes of traffic in Victoria
Riding on a multilane road

Where can I ride?

You can ride on the road unless there are signs saying otherwise, for example a ‘No Bicycles’ sign or similar.

One lane of traffic

If there is only one lane heading where you want to go, you must ride as near as you can to the far left side of the road.

Two or more lanes of traffic

When there are two or more lanes heading where you want to go (a multilane road), you can ride on the left or down the centre of a lane and use the right-hand lane to do a right turn.

Freeways

You can’t ride on urban freeways, but you can ride on the shoulders of some rural freeways, including the Western Freeway, the Calder Freeway, the Hume Freeway and parts of the Princes Freeway to Traralgon. The shoulder is an area to the left side of the road, which can be sealed or unsealed.

To find out what rural freeways you can ride on, visit the VicRoads website and download the ‘Cycling on freeways’ map.

Ride no more than 1.5 metres apart

How many bike riders can ride next to each other?

You cannot have more than two riders next to each other except when overtaking. When you are riding next to someone you must not ride more than 1.5 metres apart from them.

When can I overtake?

When you are riding on the road, you can overtake a vehicle on the left or right as long as:

  • you can clearly see any approaching traffic and
  • can overtake the vehicle safely.

You must not overtake a vehicle:

  • on the left if it is turning left and indicating left
  • on the right if it is turning right and indicating right
  • on the right if it is doing a U-turn from the centre of the road and indicating right.
Bike box
Bike box

What is a bike box?

A bike box is a box marked at an intersection with a bike symbol inside it (see image).

If there is a bike box, and you need to stop, you must stop inside it.

Bike boxes are a safer place to stop and give you a head start over other traffic when the traffic lights turn green.

If there is a bike lane leading into the bike box, you must use the bike lane to enter the bike box unless that is not a practical option.

If the bike box goes across all traffic lanes you must:

  • turn left from the left-lane side of the bike box
  • turn right from the right-lane side of the bike box.
Hook turn only sign

What is a hook turn?

A hook turn is a right-hand turn started from the far left of an intersection.

If there is a hook turn only sign (see image), you must do a hook turn to turn right.

At any other intersections, you can do a hook turn unless a sign prohibits it. Turning right using a hook turn is often a safer option.

For more information about hook turns, visit the VicRoads website and search for ‘turning’.

bike rider giving way to car on a roundabout in Victoria
Giving way on a multilane roundabout

Do I have to give way on roundabouts?

Like all road users, bike riders entering a roundabout must give way to any vehicles already in the roundabout.

If there is a bike lane on a roundabout, you must use it.

On a single-lane roundabout without a bike lane, it is a good idea to ride in the middle of the lane so you can be clearly seen and exit more easily.

When you are on a multilane roundabout, you can travel in the left lane to go around it or in the right lane to turn right, but you must give way to anyone leaving the roundabout at any exit on the way round. This might mean stopping to let a car exit the roundabout. This rule applies even if you are riding in a bike lane on a roundabout.

Crossings

Find out about the rules for bike crossings, level crossings, pedestrian and children's crossings.

Bike crossings

If there are bike crossing lights (lights with a bike symbol) you can ride your bike across when the green symbol is showing.

Level crossings

Level crossings are areas where a road crosses train tracks and some tram tracks.

When you ride across a level crossing, you must obey any signs and signals, and:

  • do not stop on the train or tram tracks
  • do not enter the crossing unless there is enough room for you on the other side of the tracks
  • do not stop where there are yellow criss-cross lines on the road
  • cross only when the train or tram has passed.

You can always get off your bike and walk it across a level crossing like other pedestrians, but you must obey all signs and signals.

Pedestrian crossings

When you are riding on the road and approach a pedestrian crossing you must:

  • ride so that you can stop safely at it
  • give way to any pedestrian on the crossing and not overtake another vehicle stopped at it.

If you are riding on a bike path or similar and want to cross a road at a pedestrian crossing, you must get off your bike and walk it across unless there are bike crossing lights.

Children’s crossings

When you approach a children’s crossing, marked by ‘Children Crossing’ flags, you must ride so you can safely stop at it. At the crossing you must:

  • stop if there is a pedestrian on it, or about to step onto it
  • stop if a crossing supervisor is using a hand-held ‘Stop’ sign
  • not cross until the crossing is clear of pedestrians.

When you want to cross the road using a children’s crossing, you must get off your bike and walk it across the road.

Trams

Find out about giving way to trams and tram 'Safety Zones'.

You must give way to trams and not ride into their path.

  • When a tram is stopped at a tram stop on your side of the road you must stop your bike behind the tram unless there is a ‘safety zone’. Once the doors have closed and the road is clear of pedestrians, you can ride past the tram at less than 10 km/h.

Safety zones

Some tram stops have ‘safety zones’ to protect pedestrians getting on and off trams. They are marked by a yellow ‘Safety Zone’ sign and have a barrier separating pedestrians from traffic.

You can ride past a safety zone at a speed that doesn’t risk the safety of pedestrians crossing the road to or from the safety zone.

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