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Riding responsibly

An introduction to riding responsibly

You must obey the road rules. The Land Transport Act 1998 defines vehicles to include bikes, and says ‘A person may not drive a vehicle, or cause a vehicle to be driven, carelessly or without reasonable consideration for other persons’.

Following the rules means you will behave predictably, in a way that avoids causing harm, is consistent with the road rules, and shows patience and care for all people. Riding responsibly includes:

  • obeying give way rules, road signs and markings
  • using hand signals
  • passing other people safely and without startling them
  • keeping left when it is safe
  • riding so that no more than two riders stay side-by-side
  • not riding distracted or impaired
  • not riding on footpaths (exceptions apply).

Don’t ride distracted or impaired

Riding or driving while distracted is illegal. You must not use your phone while riding.
Avoid riding while under the influence of alcohol or drugs to an extent that stops you having proper control.

Ride defensively

It is your responsibility to be aware of hazards. Scan for hazards and be ready to deal with them. Hazards can come from the road and environment around you, and from the people you share the road with.

People make mistakes. Check other people have seen you, such as by trying to make eye contact. People on foot can move unpredictably, particularly children, and drivers sometimes don’t see people on bikes at intersections or when they open car doors.

A cycle skills training course is a great way to gain confidence and skills to help you stay safe on the roads. Go to the BikeReady website to find out more: bikeready.govt.nz(external link)