Rules & Tips

Do you know the road rules relating to cycling? What is the etiquette for sharing paths or riding in groups?

 

Road Rules
When cycling you are bound by the same rules as driving but there are some exceptions. We've also listed a few rules that may be of interest.

 

Intersections

  • Cyclists can make hook turns at all intersections unless signage prohibits hook turns by bicycles (Rule 35).
  • Cyclists riding through multi-lane roundabouts who travel on the far left line of traffic must give way to any vehicle leaving the roundabout (Rule 119)

 

Overtaking

  • A driver must not overtake a vehicle unless the driver has a clear view of any approaching traffic; and the driver can safely overtake the vehicle (Rule 140)
  • A driver (except the rider of a bicycle) must not overtake a vehicle to the left of the vehicle (with some exceptions). The rider of a bicycle must not ride past, or overtake, to the left of a vehicle that is turning left and is giving a left change of direction signal (Rule 141).
  • A driver overtaking a bicycle must pass at a sufficient distance to avoid a collision or obstructing the path of the bicycle; and must not return to the marked lane or line of traffic where the bicycle is travelling until the driver is a sufficient distance past the bicycle to avoid a collision or obstructing the path of the bicycle (Rule 144).
  • A driver on a road with a dividing line may drive to the right of the dividing line to avoid an obstruction if the driver has a clear view of any approaching traffic; and it is necessary and reasonable, in all the circumstances, for the driver to drive to the right of the dividing line to avoid the obstruction; and the driver can do so safely (Rule 139)

 

Bike lanes

  • A driver must not drive in a bicycle lane unless the vehicle is entering or leaving the road, avoiding an obstruction or right turning vehicle, stopping or parking or a bus or taxi picking up or dropping off passengers. The driver should not travel for more than 50 metres in the bike lane (Rule 153 & 158)
  • The rider of a bicycle riding on a length of road with a bicycle lane designed for bicycles travelling in the same direction as the rider must ride in the bicycle lane unless it is impracticable to do so (Rule 247)

 

Shared paths & cycleways

  • The rider of a bicycle must not ride across a road, or part of a road, on a marked foot crossing, unless there are bicycle crossing lights at the crossing showing a green bicycle crossing light (Rule 248)
  • The rider of a bicycle riding on a footpath or shared path must keep to the left of the footpath or shared path unless it is impracticable to do so; and give way to any pedestrian on the footpath or shared path (Rule 250)
  • The rider of a bicycle riding on a bicycle path, footpath, separated footpath or shared path must keep to the left of any oncoming bicycle rider on the path (Rule 251)

 

Equipment & riding requirements

  • A bike rider must have at least one hand on the handlebar (Rule 245)
  • The rider of a bicycle must not carry more persons on the bicycle than the bicycle is designed to carry eg: no dinking (Rule 246)
  • The rider of a bicycle must wear an approved bicycle helmet securely fitted and fastened on the rider’s head, and any passengers (eg: child in child seat) must also wear an approved helmet (Rule 256).
  • The rider of a bicycle must not tow a bicycle trailer with a person in or on the bicycle trailer, unless the rider is 16 years old, or older; and the person in or on the bicycle trailer is under 10 years old, the bicycle trailer can safely carry the person; and the person in or on the bicycle trailer is wearing an approved bicycle helmet securely fitted and fastened on the person’s head (Rule 257)
  • The bike must have at least one effective brake and a warning device such as bell or horn (Rule 258)
  • In poor light conditions or at night the bicycle must have a flashing or steady white light that is clearly visible for at least 200 metres from the front of the bicycle; and a flashing or steady red light that is clearly visible for at least 200 metres from the rear of the bicycle; and a red reflector that is clearly visible for at least 50 metres from the rear of the bicycle when light is projected onto it by a vehicle’s headlight on low-beam. (Rule 259)

 

Miscellaneous

  • A person must not cause a hazard to a cyclist by opening a door of a vehicle, leaving a door of a vehicle open, or getting off, or out of, a vehicle (Rule 269)
  • Cyclists can not ride more than two abreast unless overtaking. When riding two abreast riders should not be more than 1.5m apart. This rule also applies on bike paths, shared paths and shoulder of the road (Rule 151)

 

National Road Rules

On 1 December 1999 Tasmania joined all other Australian States and Territories in adopting a national set of road rules. A few of the Tasmanian road rules changed as a result. See Tasmanian Road Rules Booklet.

Included in the new rules are two abreast bicycle riding is now legal on Tasmanian roads where it is safe to do so, cyclists must ride in bicycle lanes where these are provided on a roadway, unless it is impracticable to do so and bicycle riders in the far left-hand lane of a roundabout with two or more lanes must give way to any vehicle leaving the roundabout. It is also legal for cyclists to ride on all footpaths in Tasmania unless signage prohibits cycling.

For a full list of road rules visit The Law website.
As of 30 November 2009 new road rules will come into effect which includes bicycle storage boxes and bike helmets. See
DIER website.

Power-Assisted Bicycles

A pedal cycle with an auxiliary motor (or motors) with a power output (or combined output) of not more than 250 watts does not require to be registered and may be used on public streets and on road related areas. The rider does not need to hold a current drivers licence but must wear an approved bicycle helmet and obey all Road Rules.

Sharing the Road

See the attachment below (STR-final-1) for tips on sharing the road and the fines for breaking the rules. Do you know...?

1. Can you use a mobile phone while riding a bicycle?
2. Can you lead a dog on a lead while riding a bicycle?
3. Can you overtake on your bicycle on the left hand side of cars (such as riding along the kerb to the front of the queue at an intersection)?