Cyclists can be quite vulnerable on the road as they’re hard to see and not as protected as other road users. Stay alert for cyclists on the road and drive carefully when near them.
Safe driving around cyclists
- Hazards like parked cars, potholes, glass, litter, strong wind and opening car doors may cause cyclists to veer off-line and move into your path. Give cyclists plenty of room when passing them – allow at least 1.5 metres between you and the cyclist if you can.
- Wait for a clear space before passing a cyclist on a narrow road.
- At intersections, apply the same rules to cyclists that you would to any other vehicle on the road. Take care to indicate turns.
- If you're crossing a cycle lane, give way to cyclists before you cross.
- Take extra care around young cyclists.
- You must not drive in or cross a cycle lane except for a maximum of 50 metres when entering or leaving side roads, driveways or parking spaces.
- You must not stop, stand or park in a cycle lane.
Cyclists may use hand signals to indicate their intentions
Common causes of cycle collisions
Take extra care when you are carrying out the following actions.
Moving through or turning at intersections
Cyclists can be hard to see on the road. Always check carefully for cyclists before turning at, or moving through, an intersection. If you’re following a cyclist and want to turn left, wait until the cyclist has passed the intersection. At busy intersections cyclists may choose to turn right using a hook turn. This means they'll go straight ahead in the left lane and stop on the left side of the road to wait for a gap in the traffic or for the traffic signals to change.
Opening a car door
You can injure a cyclist if you open your door into their path. Always check carefully for cyclists before you open your door. Open the door with your left hand – this will turn your shoulders and increase your chances of seeing an approaching cyclist.
Reversing or moving out of driveways or parking spaces
Always check the road carefully for cyclists before reversing or moving out of a driveway or parking space.
When leaving a driveway or parking space, you must give way to other vehicles using the road.
Passing groups of cyclists
Allow them plenty of room and don’t drive too close.
Things to know about cyclists
- Cycles are small and can be hard to see, especially at night. Don’t just look for car-sized vehicles.
- Cyclists can feel threatened by inconsiderate driving. They have a right to space on the road and need room at intersections and roundabouts.
- Cyclists may ride away from the kerb or occupy a lane – not to annoy drivers, but to:
- avoid drains, potholes or roadside rubbish
- be seen as they come up to intersections with side roads
- discourage drivers from squeezing past where it’s too dangerous, such as a narrow road.
- Cyclists turning right are exposed. They need extra care from drivers, especially on multi-laned roads with fast-moving traffic.
- Cyclists can be forced into faster traffic by vehicles that are parked where they shouldn’t be, such as:
- in cycle lanes
- on broken yellow lines
- near intersections.
- Cyclists are dazzled by headlights on full beam, just like other road users – remember to dip your lights for cyclists too.
- Cyclists can travel quickly and are capable of speeds of 40km/h or more.
- Cyclists have a right to use the roads and to travel safely and enjoyably. Please understand and respect their needs.