Cyclist road rules and safety

Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as other road users, but they are more vulnerable when travelling on the road. Both cyclists and motorists need to consider each other and share the road safely.

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    Road rules

    Cyclists must obey all road rules, just like motorists, including stopping at stop signs and traffic lights, riding on the left side of the road and giving way to pedestrians on crossings and at intersections.

    The Cycling and the Law (1.0 MB PDF) booklet provides details about cyclists' legal rights and obligations in South Australia.

    Bicycle lanes

    Bicycle lanes run alongside kerbs or next to parking lanes.

    They are indicated by painted lines, bicycle symbols and bicycle lane signs, or the word 'lane' painted in white. Some bicycle lanes (or sections of lanes) are painted green.

    Use the Cycle Instead online Journey Planner or download the Bikedirect cycling maps to find the locations of bike lanes as well as shared paths, greenways and bicycle boulevards in metropolitan Adelaide.

    Some bicycle lanes operate around the clock. Others operate only during peak travel times (as specified on the signs) to allow parking for local businesses and residents.

    Rules for motorists

    It is illegal to park or stop your vehicle in a bicycle lane, or to drive in a bicycle lane unless:

    • the lane is not in operation at the time
    • you need to stop in an emergency
    • you are crossing the bicycle lane to change lanes*
    • you are entering or leaving the road from private property, a parking area or another road*
    • you are overtaking a vehicle turning right or making a U-turn*
    • you are avoiding an obstruction*
    • you are driving a bus or a taxi that is picking up or dropping off passengers.

    *When crossing or turning into a bicycle lane, drivers can only travel in the lane for 50 metres and must watch for and give way to bicycle riders.

    Bicycle riders are allowed to move out of the bicycle lane to avoid an obstruction or to overtake another rider.

    Rules for cyclists

    Watch for motorists and ride within the bicycle lane unless you need to avoid an obstruction or overtake another rider.

    When riding abreast of another rider, you must both be within the bicycle lane.

    Rules for pedestrians

    Watch for and give way to bicycles when crossing a road with bicycle lanes.


    A clearway is a length of road where kerbside parking and stopping is prohibited (except for buses).

    Restrictions apply during specified times to one or both sides of the road, depending on traffic flow. They usually apply on weekdays only.

    Clearways operate on busy arterial roads during periods of high traffic volume. They are designed to maximise traffic flow, safety and capacity and are clearly signposted with the relevant times and restrictions.

    Parked vehicles reduce the capacity of the road and force drivers to manoeuvre around them. By prohibiting parking along main roads, clearways:

    • improve visibility for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians
    • help reduce crashes
    • give the full capacity of the road to moving traffic
    • offer public transport an uninterrupted passage.

    Safety tips for cyclists

    • Obey the road rules.
    • Keep to the left and ride at least one metre clear of the kerb and parked cars.
    • Look for people opening car doors in front of you.
    • 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.
    • Look for other vehicles at intersections - never assume a driver has seen you.
    • Ride predictably in a straight line and signal your intention to turn or change lanes.
    • Riding 2 abreast is legal.
    • Cyclists of all ages are allowed to ride on footpaths

    Safety tips for drivers

    • Drivers are required to give a minimum of 1 metre when passing a cyclist where the speed limit is 60 km/h or less or 1.5 metres where the speed limit is over 60 km/h.
    • Scan the road for cyclists.
    • Look for cyclists when turning or entering an intersection and give way as you would for any other vehicle.
    • Before opening your car door look behind and check blind spots for cyclists.
    • Do not drive, stop or park in a bicycle lane, you can cross a bicycle lane to turn left, enter private property or park in a parking lane.
    • Cyclists can legally ride 2 abreast - be patient as you approach and overtake only when safe.
    • Give cyclists plenty of room - a minimum of 1 metre clearance when overtaking.

    Related information

    Other websites

    Cycling - Department for Infrastructure and Transport

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    Page last updated 23 November 2023

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