Cyclists can be vulnerable on the road as they’re hard to see and not as protected as  other road users. Stay alert for cyclists on the road and ride carefully when near them.

Safe riding around cyclists

  • Hazards like parked cars, opening car doors, potholes, glass, litter and strong wind may cause cyclists to veer off-line and move into your path. Give cyclists plenty of room when passing them – allow at least 1.5 metres between you and the cyclist.
  • At intersections, apply the same rules to cyclists that you would to any other vehicle on the road. Take care to indicate turns.
  • If you’re crossing a cycle lane, give way to cyclists before you cross. 
  • Wait for a clear space before passing a cyclist on a narrow road.
  • You must not ride in or across a cycle lane except for a maximum of 50 metres when entering or leaving side roads, driveways or parking spaces.
  • Take extra care around young cyclists.
  • You must not stop, stand or park in a cycle lane.

Cyclists may use hand signals to indicate their intentions

A person on a bicycle holds their left arm out to signal left.
A person on a bicycle bends their right arm and points their hand up in a stop signal.
A person on a bicycle holds their right arm out to signal right.

Common causes of cycle collisions

Moving through or turning at intersections

Cyclists can be hard to see on the road. Always check carefully for cyclists before turning at, or moving through, an intersection. If you’re following a cyclist and want to turn left, wait until the cyclist has passed the intersection.

At busy intersections, cyclists may choose to turn right using a hook turn. This means they’ll go straight ahead in the left lane and stop on the left side of the road to wait for a gap in the traffic or for the traffic signals to change.

Reversing or moving out of driveways or parking spaces

Always check the road carefully for cyclists before reversing or moving out of a driveway or parking space.

When leaving a driveway or parking space, you must give way to other vehicles using the road.

Passing groups of cyclists

Allow them plenty of room and don’t ride too close.

Things to know about cyclists

  • Cycles are small and can be difficult to see, especially at night. Don’t just look for car-sized vehicles.
  • Cyclists can feel threatened by inconsiderate riding. Cyclists have a right to space on the road and need extra room at intersections and roundabouts.
  • Cyclists may ride away from the kerb or occupy a lane – not to annoy motorists, but to:
    • avoid drains, potholes or roadside rubbish
    • be seen as they come up to intersections with side roads
    • discourage drivers from squeezing past where it’s too dangerous, such as a narrow road.
  • Cyclists turning right are exposed. They need extra care from motorists, especially on multi-laned roads with fast-moving traffic.
  • Cyclists can be forced into faster traffic by vehicles that are parked where they shouldn’t be, such as:
    • in cycle lanes
    • on broken yellow lines
    • near intersections.
  • Cyclists are dazzled by headlights on full beam, just like other road users – remember to dip your headlight for cyclists too.
  • Cyclists can travel quickly and are capable of speeds of 40km/h or more.
  • Cyclists have a right to use the roads and to travel safely and enjoyably. Please understand and respect their needs.