Under NSW legislation a bicycle is considered as a vehicle.
As such, cyclists are required to obey the road rules, including stopping at red lights or Stop signs, Giving Way as indicated by signage and giving hand signals when changing direction.
Just as cyclists have responsibilities when using the road, they also have the right, like other vehicles, to use the road and be shown courtesy and care by other road users. Failing to obey road or bicycle rules may result in a fine.
The New South Wales helmet law came into effect from 1 January 1991 for adults and from 1 July 1991 for children under 16. This law was introduced based on the known safety benefits particularly in relation to preventing brain trauma that may result from a fall or crash.
Under the current Road Rules 2008 a rider of a bicycle on roads and road-related areas must wear an approved bicycle helmet securely fitted and fastened on their head. This applies to all cyclists, regardless of age, including children on bicycles with training wheels and any child being carried as a passenger on a bike or in a bicycle trailer.
Special road rules for cyclists
You are allowed to turn right from the left hand lane. When passing each exit, you must give way to any vehicle leaving the roundabout from that exit.
Transit lanes are used for vehicles containing a certain number of people. These lanes may also be used by buses, taxis, hire cars, motorcycles, bicycles and emergency vehicles, regardless of the number of people in them.
When a bicycle lane is marked on the road, cyclists must use it. These lanes are for use by bicycles, but cars may use them for not more than 50 metres to enter or leave the road at a driveway or intersection.
Bus lanes are for buses, but can also be used for bicycles, motorcycles, taxis, hire cars and vehicles operated by, or under the direction of Roads and Maritime Services (replacing Roads and Traffic Authority).
Bus only lanes
When the words ‘Buses Only’ appear on a bus lane sign, only buses are allowed to drive in these lanes.
Side by side
You are allowed to ride two abreast, but not more than 1.5 metres apart.
Children under 12 years of age can ride on a footpath. An adult, who is riding in a supervisory capacity of a cyclist less than 12 years old, may also ride with the young cyclist on the footpath.
You are allowed to cycle on the footpath where indicated by signage.
Across NSW there are paths that can be used by both pedestrians and bicycle riders. Always travel at a speed that promotes safety for you and the pedestrians you encounter.