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Passing other people and vehicles

You must pass on the right, with some exceptions. You are allowed to pass on the left when you are in a separate lane, such as cycle lanes or turning lanes. You are also allowed to pass on the left where vehicles are turning right or stopped, such as in a queue.

When passing a queue of traffic on the left, scan ahead for vehicles turning across your path into side roads.

This page describes:

Passing trucks and buses
Passing queues of stationary or slow-moving vehicles
Passing other riders and pedestrians

Passing trucks and buses

Trucks and buses have large blind zones, especially when turning, so the driver probably won’t be able to see you alongside them. Trucks also have blind spots immediately in front of the cab.

  • Avoid passing a truck or bus that is turning or about to turn
  • Anticipate the movement trucks and buses may make, such as pulling into a bus stop, cutting a corner or swinging wide before turning
  • If you are stopped ahead of the truck make sure you are clear of the blind zone by checking the driver can see you
  • If a truck or a bus is ahead of you in a queue of traffic, you will need to decide if you can get to the front of the queue before the traffic light changes, or the traffic moves. If you must get to the front of a queue, passing on the right of stationary vehicles is safer. If you cannot be sure you can get to the front of a queue before the traffic lights change it is better to wait.

Blind zones where truck drivers can't see a person on a bike

Information about blind zones is available at www.sharetheroad.org.nz(external link)

Passing queues of stationary or slow-moving vehicles

When you ride past queues of stationary or slow-moving vehicles, your visibility is reduced and turning drivers may not see you.

Watch out for people crossing the road between queuing vehicles, especially if your view ahead is restricted by a large vehicle.

Mind the gap

Slow down and be particularly careful when approaching a gap in a queue of vehicles. A driver may have left the gap for a turning vehicle. Watch for vehicles approaching the gap from either side.

Passing other riders and pedestrians

Pass other people with patience and care.

On the road, you must pass other riders on the right. Allow as much room as possible and avoid startling them – a ring of your bell may help. If you are riding on a busy road, you may need to wait for a gap in the traffic so you can pass safely.

On shared paths, use slower speeds and give way to slower users. Pass other people with at least a metre gap to avoid startling them. Let pedestrians know you are approaching by politely calling out or ringing a bell well in advance, especially if they have not seen you. Where possible, ride on the left and pass on your right.

If you encounter a horse, it is sensible to give way, as they are easily startled.