No matter how you travel, the road is there to share. Follow these simple tips and road rules to ensure everyone has a safe journey
Know your fellow road users
Consider what it's like to be in the shoes of all the different people who share the road. At the end of the day, it's all about getting around our city safely and comfortably. If you drive, to understand other road users you could:
- Try riding a bike yourself.
- Talk to people who ride bikes regularly.
- Watch people when they ride, observing how they move and position themselves.
Pedestrians and bike riders should also be aware of needs of car drivers navigating traffic.
Know your rights and responsibilities
There are numerous rules developed to make the road a safer place. Beyond these rules, please be competent and compassionate to ensure everyone can travel together, whether you are a driver, bike rider or pedestrian.
As a driver, remember you are in a much bigger, heavier and faster vehicle than people on bikes, mobility scooters, skateboards, scooters and pedestrians.
- Scan the street for all road users including people walking and riding and look for hand signals from bike riders.
- Remember to give bike riders plenty of room and don't go too fast when passing (give one metre or for speed over 60 km/h, give 1.5 metres).
- Be patient, particularly around children, people riding up hills or elderly pedestrians, and think about the space and time they need.
- Let people on bikes merge back into the traffic lane whenever needed (especially when they have been riding in the parking lane to let cars overtake).
- Make eye contact and kind gestures with other road users during your interactions with them.
- When turning left, give way to people riding to the left of you - they may be continuing straight.
- Travel a safe distance behind bikes and cars in front of you and avoid tailgating.
- When entering or exiting a driveway, remember you are a guest on the footpath, and you must give way to everyone and not stay on the path.
- Avoid blocking kerb ramps (pram ramps) when parking your car on the street.
- When parked on the road, check behind for bike riders and let them pass before opening your car door. Opening the driver's door with your left hand helps ensure you look behind.
- Remember that you cannot park across a footpath or shared path, even if it is in your driveway between the road and your property.
Visit NSW Centre for Road Safety for more information.
As a bike rider, you must remember that many of the road rules apply to you, with some exceptions to help you and others move more safely and conveniently:
- Special rules for bike riders can be found on the NSW government website.
- Important rules include being able to take the lane, ride two abreast, use a bus lane, ride to the left of a continuous white line (i.e., in the shoulder or parking lane) and pass cars on the left.
Extra tips for share the road while riding a bike include:
- Remember not all car drivers know all the road rules so be extra vigilant riding near cars where they could potential turn left and near parked cars where doors could swing open.
- Being close to kerbs and parked cars can be dangerous, particularly with drivers potentially opening doors without looking. If you feel it is unsafe to ride in a bicycle lane, you are not required to and may take the traffic lane.
- You don't need to go into a parking lane to let cars pass if you don't feel it is safe to. Give yourself plenty of room to re-enter the traffic lane when needed.
- Make eye contact, use hand signals and polite gestures whenever you are interacting with other road users.
Pedestrians and others on the footpath
Pedestrians aren't just people walking or running, they are also people on a wheelchair, mobility scooter, skateboard, foot scooter or rollerblades/skates. There are also other people who can use footpaths including children (up to 16) on bikes and accompanying adults.
As a pedestrian you can help keep our roads safe by:
- Staying aware when crossing the road and avoid being distracted.
- Remember not all car drivers know all the road rules so be extra vigilant, particularly at driveways and crossing roads that cars could turn into.
- Make eye contact and polite gestures whenever you are interacting with other road users.
For more information on the road rules, go to the NSW legislation website.