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Keeping your distance

From 26 April, when drivers pass a bicycle rider, they must leave a space of at least 1 metre between their vehicle and the rider on roads with speed limits up to 60km per hour.

Person riding a bike along a road in a red jacket

Sharing the road with other vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians is important for all road users.

From 26 April there were new road rules introduced for when drivers pass a bicycle rider – they must leave a space of at least 1 metre between their vehicle and the rider on roads with speed limits up to 60km/hour.

If drivers are travelling on roads with speed limits over 60 km/hour, they must leave a bigger space, at least 1.5 metres, between their vehicle and the bicycle rider.

Where do the new rules apply?

These laws apply whenever a motorised vehicle is passing a bicycle rider, including:

  • When a cyclist is riding in a bicycle lane (including painted white lines, temporary separation like a pop up bike lane, and permanent separation eg kerbing separating the bicycle lane)
  • When cyclists are riding two abreast on the road
  • When cyclists are using bus lanes – riding single file in bus lanes helps buses pass by more easily

How can drivers safely share the road with bike riders?

  • Be patient and keep your distance from bike riders.
  • Drivers may briefly cross a single or double centre line to overtake a bicycle rider, but only if the way ahead is clear and it is safe to do so. After overtaking, make sure you are well clear of the bike rider before moving back
  • Watch out for bike riders at intersections and roundabouts
  • Drive cautiously and watch out for bike riders in residential streets
  • Do not drive in bicycle lanes
  • Give way to bike riders in bicycle lanes if you are turning across the lane
  • Indicate when pulling out, changing lanes or turning, so bike riders know your intention
  • Check behind you before opening your car door, use your mirrors and do a head check.
  • Make sure your passengers are careful when opening their car doors too

Visit the Vicroads website for more hints and tips about sharing the road.External Link

For more information about how to be aware of cyclists when opening your car door watch a video on checking for cyclists and motorcyclists

Reviewed 09 November 2023