Cycling laws in the ACT

People who ride bikes in Canberra need to be aware of the current road rules affecting cyclists.

The current road rules, effective: 29 October 2018, are the Road Transport (Road Rules) Regulation 2017

This rolls national laws into ACT regulations, combining the current Australian Road Rules with current ACT-specific laws, such as laws that allow cyclists to ride across crossings and minimum passing distance laws.

The infringement notice penalty for the offences listed is currently $146.

Should a matter proceed to court, the court will determine a penalty based on all the circumstances, which could be up to a maximum of $3,000, as it is currently, and which is a similar to motor vehicle offences.

The key rules that affect bike riders are as follows:

  1. A rider can ride across a crossing, eg a pedestrian or signalised crossing, at speeds of 10 km/h or less. Riders must approach a crossing at a speed of 10 km/h or less; look for approaching traffic and be prepared to stop. They can ride on a crossing at a speed of 10 km/h or less; and must give way to pedestrians and keep to the left of an oncoming bicycle or pedestrian
  2. A bike rider must keep to the left of a footpath or shared path unless it is impracticable to do so; and must give way to any pedestrian on the footpath or shared path.
  3. A bike rider must be 16 years or older to tow a bicycle trailer, and the person in the trailer must be less than 10 years old and wearing a helmet.
  4. A bike rider cannot ride at night without a flashing or steady red or white light that is clearly visible for at least 200 metres. They must also display a red reflector that is clearly visible for at least 50 meters from the rear of the bicycle and clearly visible.
  5. A bicycle must have at least one effective brake and a warning device such as a bell. The bike rider and any passenger on a bicycle must wear an approved bicycle helmet that is securely fastened on the rider’s head.
  6. If a bike approaches an intersection that has bicycle crossing light symbol and traffic lights, the cyclist may cross the intersection if the bicycle crossing lights are green even if the traffic lights are red or yellow.
  7. A rider may overtake on the left of a vehicle unless the vehicle is turning left AND has its left indicator light flashing.

We encourage everyone who rides a bike in Canberra to familiarise themselves with the road rules so that they can stay safe while riding on ACT roads and shared paths.

 For more information about Canberra’s cycling laws visit –