Responsible riding means riding with the safety and convenience of all road users in mind.

Important rider responsibilities

Safety helmets

You, and any passengers you carry, must wear an approved safety helmet when riding a motorcycle.

Operation of a vehicle

You must not operate a vehicle in a condition or way that could cause:

  • injury to any person or animal
  • annoyance to any person
  • damage to any property
  • distraction to the driver.

Unsafe vehicle or load

You must not ride:

  • an unsafe vehicle
  • a vehicle with an unsafe load, which:
    • isn’t tied down
    • could fall from the vehicle
    • is dragging on the ground.

Dangerous riding

You must not ride your motorcycle, or allow your passenger to ride, in a way that may result in injury.

Carrying passengers

Learner and restricted licence holders can’t carry passengers. Once you have your full licence, you may carry one passenger behind you (also known as a pillion passenger) on your motorcycle. They must sit in a safe pillion seat, facing forwards, and must have both feet on footrests. They must also wear an approved safety helmet.


You must not use any vehicle lighting equipment in a way that will dazzle, confuse or distract other road users.

Noisy and smoky vehicles

You must not ride a vehicle that:

  • makes a lot of noise due to:
    • the way the vehicle is being ridden
    • the condition of the vehicle
    • any other means – such as a stereo
  • makes noise that’s likely to cause annoyance to any person
  • makes smoke for 10 seconds or more.

Make sure your vehicle’s exhaust system and silencer are in good working order. This will prevent excessive gases and noise from the motorcycle.

Making the wheels of a motor vehicle lose traction and spin on the road surface may make unnecessary noise or smoke and could be a traffic offence.

Using the horn

Use the horn only as a reasonable traffic warning. It shouldn’t make an unnecessary or unreasonably loud, harsh or shrill noise.


Don’t play music so loudly that you can’t hear:

  • the sounds your vehicle is making
  • emergency sirens
  • the warning bells or trains when you’re coming up to a railway level crossing.

Uphill and downhill traffic

On steep, narrow roads, it’s easier for vehicles moving downhill to give way to vehicles moving uphill.

Funeral processions

If you’re riding in a funeral procession, ride with your vehicle’s headlight on dip to let other drivers know you’re part of the procession.

Animals on the road

Farmers often use country roads to move stock between paddocks.

If animals are on the road:

  • slow down or pull over to the side of the road
  • don’t sound your horn or make a noise that could frighten the animals
  • follow any advice the farmer may give you.

Broken glass and other debris on the road

You’re responsible for removing the following things if they fall from your vehicle onto the road:

  • Any slippery substance.
  • Any piercing or dangerous substance.
  • Glass.
  • Any other substance of any kind that, because of its size or nature, could be a danger to road users.

If it can be removed quickly and safely, you must immediately remove it or make sure it’s removed.

If it can’t be removed quickly and safely, and it can cause harm, you must warn the public or report it immediately to the police.

If you can’t remove it, warn the public, or report it, then the person removing the vehicle from the scene must do these things.

Firearms - guns

You must not carry a firearm on your motorcycle unless you hold a firearms licence. You must never carry a loaded firearm on your motorcycle. This also means you must not carry ammunition in the chamber or attached magazine of the gun.


While you’re riding, you can’t use a hand-held cellphone to create, send or read a text message, make or receive a phone call or access online services in any way. This includes when sitting in traffic, such as stopped at traffic lights.

You can, however, use your cellphone for calls while riding if the phone is secured in a mounting fixed to the vehicle and you use the phone rarely and briefly.

You can also use a cellphone while riding to make a 111 or *555 call if it’s unsafe or you’re unable to pull over and stop in a safe place at the side of the road to make the call.

Rider distractions

Anything that takes your attention away from the road can be a potential hazard. When you’re riding, you should avoid or minimise:

  • looking at things on the roadside
  • looking at scenery
  • talking on a hands-free cellphone
  • talking to passengers
  • eating food
  • lighting a cigarette – including using an e-cigarette or vape
  • adjusting controls
  • daydreaming
  • tiredness
  • reading maps
  • using electronic gadgets.