Bike Road Rules & Safety

“Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as other road users. Whatever vehicle you drive, the golden rule is to treat other road users with respect and courtesy. All road users should drive or ride safely and obey the traffic rules at all times. Click here to view Bicycle Victoria’s overview of road rules.

When riding on roads involving traffic, other bikes and pedestrians, it is very important to have knowledge of the road rules and ways to decrease the chance of an accident. Even if you are following the law, it is still important to know what to look out for as others on the road might not be doing the right thing. Here are some tips to improve your safety on the road:

General Rules:

Heading out on the road

  • Ride either in single file or 2 abreast only (if 2 abreast, must be within 1.5m)
  • If you are overtaking a group which is 2 abreast, overtake in a single file and make sure it is safe to do so
  • Stop at all red lights (you are slower than when you are driving; take this into account!)
  • If there is a bike lane, use it unless it is unsafe to do so
  • If it is dark or dawn/dusk or low visibility (i.e. fog) use front and rear lights (red / yellow reflector vests are great as well)
  • Indicate clearly if you are turning
  • Keep as far left as is safe to do so

Some tips to keep you safe:

  • Always keep an eye out to see what is going on around you: other bikes, cars coming up from behind, pedestrians, dogs, kids, trams and buses
  • Make sure you are looking further up the road: traffic lights, parked cars, pedestrian crossings
  • Try not to ride in driver’s “blind spots” – a lot of drivers will not notice bicycles
  • Be careful of road works or detours
  • Ride with someone (or in a group)
  • Have a mobile phone (phone numbers of other riders) and cash (or credit card) for emergencies
  • Ask your coaches (or experienced riders) for tips or advice

Signals for the safety of the riders behind you:

Training on the road

  • Point to any noticeable ditch/pot hole or alike
  • With an open hand, wave toward any glass/loose gravel (yell “GLASS” if dangerous amounts)
  • To ride in single file, raise your inside arm and hold one finger in the air (general rule: the outside rider moves in front of inside rider)
  • When slowing, lower your inside hand with your palm facing the riders behind
  • Yell “Lights Up” if the lights a long distance ahead have changed to yellow or red
  • Yell “Stopping” if the lights have just changed in front of you
  • Yell “Rolling” if you had been slowing and it is then safe to continue
  • Yell “Car” if you are approaching a round about and a car is approaching – this alerts those further down the pack

You may be doing your long ride, or in the middle of a 5 minute hard effort, but you must remember, YOUR SAFETY IS NUMBER 1!!! It does not matter what you are doing, if your safety or the safety of someone in your group is at risk, riding with extreme caution must be your priority.

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