Road rules for bike riders

Find out about the road rules that apply to bike riders.

Bike rider in heavy traffic Victoria
Make sure you have enough space to stop

Safe riding

When you are riding your bike you must:

  • face forwards and have at least one hand on the handlebars
  • keep a safe distance between you and any traffic in front of you.

Make sure you have enough space to stop safely.

‘Dinking’ is against the law. Your passengers can only sit on your bike if they are in a seat for a passenger.

Traffic light in Victoria
Bike crossing lights

Traffic lights, signals and signs

You must obey traffic lights, signals, signs and road markings, and follow the road rules on stopping and giving way.

If there are no traffic lights, signs or lines at an intersection, you must give way to any vehicle on your right that would cross your path.

Traffic lights

You must obey any traffic lights, including bike traffic lights that use bike symbols. You must also obey traffic arrows if you are about to make a turn.

You must always:

  • give way to pedestrians who are crossing on the road you are turning into, even if there are no pedestrian lights or the pedestrian lights are not green
  • stop at yellow lights and arrows when it is safe to do so.

‘Stop’ signs and lines

You must obey ‘Stop’ signs and lines.

At a stop line, you must come to a complete stop and usually give way to any vehicles already in, entering or approaching an intersection.

A stop line is an unbroken white line across a road lane.

‘Give Way’ signs and lines

You must obey ‘Give Way’ signs and lines. A give way line is a broken white line across a road lane.

  • At a give way line, you must slow down and stop if necessary to avoid a collision.
  • If you are stationary, you must remain stationary until it is safe to go.
  • You must give way to any vehicles already in, entering or approaching an intersection.
Signalling right

Turning and signalling

You must give way to pedestrians crossing the road you are turning into whether there are pedestrian lights or not.

Turning right

Whenever you are moving over to the right or turning right, including when changing lanes or turning right, you must signal with your right hand.

Turning left

You do not have to signal if you’re turning left, but it’s a good idea to.

What speed am I allowed to ride at?

You must obey the speed limit. It is also a serious offence to ride at a dangerous speed.

Speed limits are the maximum speed you are allowed to ride. You need to ride to the conditions. To ride safely you might need to ride more slowly than the speed limit.

Speed limits are often shown by speed limit signs – but even without signs speed limits still apply:

  • In built-up areas where there are no signs, the speed limit is 50 km/h.
  • In country areas where there are no signs, the speed limit is 100 km/h.
  • Near schools and in shopping strips, the speed limit, marked by a sign, is often 40 km/h.
  • In an area shared with pedestrians, and marked by a ‘Shared Zone’ sign, the speed limit is 10 km/h.

Causing a traffic hazard

You must not cause a traffic hazard by putting others at risk. This includes riding into the path of a driver or a pedestrian, riding too fast for the conditions or not looking before pulling out into traffic.

A mobile phone mounted to a bike
Image courtesy of antb/Shutterstock.com

Can I use a mobile phone and ride?

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

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.

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

Here are some organisations that assist bike riders with road rules, bike safety and insurance.
This page was last updated on December 11, 2015