Bicycle riders on roads
The following is a summary of the additional rules that apply to bicycle riders riding on roads:
- Bicycles are considered vehicles under the road rules, and riders are permitted to ride on the road, even if there is a nearby off-road path (unless signs indicate riding a bike is not allowed on-road).
- Bicycle riders must wear an approved bicycle helmet securely fitted and fastened on their head. There are some exemptions for religious or medical reasons. For more information on exemptions see VicRoads website.
- A bicycle must have at least one effective brake and a bell, horn or similar warning device in working order.
- At night, or in conditions of reduced visibility, approved lights and reflectors are also required. This includes a flashing or steady white light on the front of the bicycle, and a flashing or steady red light on the rear of the bicycle, and a red reflector that is clearly visible for at least 50m from the rear of the bicycle when a vehicles low beam headlights shine on it. All lights must be visible for at least 200m from the bicycle.
- Bicycle riders must ride sitting on the bike seat facing forwards (unless it is not designed to be ridden this way) and with at least one hand on the handlebars.
- A bike rider must not carry more people than the bike is designed for and any passenger must sit on their seat. It is the rider’s responsibility to ensure their passenger complies with this rule.
- When a bicycle lane is provided on a road, in the direction of travel, cyclists must ride in the bicycle lane unless it is impracticable to do so.
- Bicycle storage areas or ‘head-start boxes’ are provided at some signalised intersections. These are areas painted in front of the stop line, but before any pedestrian crossing to allow riders to safely wait in front of traffic (see image to the right). Bicycle riders must stop at the second line, within the storage area. Drivers must stop at the first line at a red light and not enter the area reserved for riders.
- Bicycle riders are allowed to overtake to the left of a vehicle, unless that vehicle is turning left and indicating.
- Bicycle riders must give hand signals when turning right including changing lanes and making a U-turn. Giving a left hand signal when turning left is not required by the road rules – though we recommend it be done whenever possible as a courtesy to other road users.
- When turning right, bicycle riders have the option of making a hook turn at any intersection (with or without traffic lights) unless signs prohibit bicycles from doing so. Watch our video that explains how to make a hook turn on a bicycle.
- At a multi-lane roundabout, bicycle riders riding in the far left lane of the roundabout are required to give way to any vehicle leaving the roundabout.
- Bicycle riders must not cause a hazard to other road users.
- Bicycle riders must dismount to cross at a children’s or pedestrian crossing. At a marked foot crossing, a bicycle rider may ride across if there is a bicycle light when the light is green.
- Bicycle riders are allowed to ride up to two abreast, and up to 1.5 metres apart. Another rider may pass if overtaking.
- A rider of a bike may not ride on a road where signs or road markings indicate bicycles are not allowed.
- A person must not ride a bicycle that is being towed by another vehicle.
- Bicycle riders must not ride within two metres of the rear of a moving motor vehicle for more than 200 metres.
- From 1 July 2017, bicycles are allowed to use bus lanes.
- From 1 July 2017, bike riders using a mobile phone can be issued with an on-the-spot fine, rather than police having to take them to court. For more information see our mobile phones section.
For more information see the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules 2017 rules 49, 50, 54, 55, 245 to 262 and 300.