The Road Traffic Act defines bicycles as vehicles and cyclists therefore have a legitimate right to use our roads. Cyclists, just like motor vehicle drivers, have a responsibility to obey the Road Rules.

For the 5 year period 2008-2012, an average of 543 cyclists were reported to SA police each year as being injured or killed. Of these:

  • 3 were fatalities
  • 69 were seriously injured
  • 471 received minor injuries
  • 80% were male
  • 92% were in metropolitan Adelaide
  • 3% were not wearing helmets.

Cyclists are vulnerable road users and it is important that both cyclists and motorists consider each other and share the road safely.

To share the road safely with cyclists drivers should:

  • Scan the road for cyclists.
  • When turning or entering an intersection look for cyclists and give way as you would for any other vehicle.
  • Give cyclists plenty of room; a minimum of 1m clearance when overtaking.
  • Before opening your car door look behind, including checking blind spots for cyclists.
  • You must not drive, stop or park in a bicycle lane however you can cross a bicycle lane to turn left, enter private property or park in a parking lane.
  • Cyclists can legally ride two abreast, be patient as you approach and overtake only when safe.

To share the road safely with drivers, cyclists should:

  • Obey the road rules including stopping at traffic signals and stop signs and giving way at intersections.
  • Ride predictably in a straight line, signal your intention to turn or change lanes.
  • Look for other vehicles at intersections; never assume a driver has seen you.
  • Keep to the left and ride at least 1m clear of the kerb and parked cars; watch for unexpected opening car doors.
  • Be seen. During the day wear bright coloured clothing. At night wear light coloured clothing and use a white front light and red rear light.
  • Riding two abreast is legal however dont hog the road and allow others to overtake.


Do I have to use bicycle lanes when riding on the road?

If you are riding on the road with a bicycle lane travelling in the same direction, you must ride in the bicycle lane, when it is in operation (as indicated by the signs) unless it is impractical to do so (eg glass in the bicycle lane).

Am I allowed to ride two abreast on the road?

Yes you are allowed to ride two abreast on the road. The exception to this is where a bicycle lane exists and is in operation and there is insufficient room for two riders to ride abreast inside the lane, In this case you must ride single file. Also whilst it is legal to ride two abreast it is important to consider other road users and not hog the road.

Can I park my car in a bicycle lane?

Motor vehicles are only permitted in bicycle lanes when:

  • The bicycle lane is not in operation
  • Stopping in an emergency
  • Entering or leaving the road from private property, a parking area or another road (and then only for up to 50 metres)
  • Overtaking a vehicle turning right or making a U turn(and then only for up to 50 metres)
  • Avoiding an obstruction (and then only for up to 50 metres)
  • Driving a bus or taxi picking up or dropping off passengers (and then only for up to 50 metres) 
Do I have to give hand signals when riding on the roads?

You must give a hand signal when preparing to turn right, diverge right or when changing lanes to the right. It is also considerate to use hand signals when making left turns or stopping; this lets other road users know what you are doing.

Can I overtake a car on the left when riding on the road?

You may overtake both moving and stationary vehicle on the left except when the vehicle is turning left and giving a left change of direction signal.

Can I ride on the footpath?

You may only ride your bicycle on the footpath if:

  • You are under the age of 12
  • You are carrying and complying with a certificate issued by your doctor. There are an increasing number of paths that can be used by bicycles and in most cases these are shared paths identified by a sign.
  • You are aged over 18 years and are accompanying a child under the age of 12 years. 

What the law says

To find out more on what the law says in relation to cyclists responsibilities and motor vehicle responsibilities towards cyclists when on our roads see Cycling and the law. (PDF)


When riding a bicycle you can be charged with a traffic offence in the same way as a motor vehicle driver. This includes incurring demerit points against your drivers licence. You incur demerit points even if you dont hold a drivers licence (which can prohibit you from obtaining one).

Publications and links

Cycle instead journey planner

South Australian cyclist statistics (PDF)

Cycling and the Law (PDF)

The Cycling Resource Centre

Bicycle Lanes


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