Do I need to wear a helmet when riding a bicycle in Australia?

Yes, everyone in Australia who's old enough to ride a bicycle must be wearing a helmet when out in public settings to help protect your head from serious injury or harm in the event that you fall off or crash your bike. But you can't just wear any old helmet. The helmets used when riding a bicycle need to be to the Australian Standard (AS 2063), meaning the helmet sits securely on your head and you can fasten it accordingly. 

However, there are some exceptions to this law with members of religious groups who wear headdresses or other accessories as part of that religion exempt from wearing a helmet if it is impractical to do so. You also don't have to wear a helmet if you have a medical reason for doing so but you must carry a copy of a medical certificate from your GP (general practitioner) with you when you're riding a bicycle if that is the case. 

What are the bike laws in Australia?

In each Australian state, the law recognizes cyclists as operators of motor vehicles so there are various rules and regulations you need to follow in order to ride a bike safely on the roads. This also means that cyclists need to adhere to the same traffic laws as motor vehicle drivers such as stopping at red lights and stop signs, stopping for pedestrians at crossings, and giving way to traffic when exiting a driveway and at other times where applicable. 

Other rules you need to adhere to in order to uphold bike laws in Australia include the following:

  • You must use a hand signal when turning right.

  • You must not lead an animal while riding a bike.

  • You must keep a minimum of 2 metres distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.

  • You must have a working bell or other warning devices on your bike at all times. 

If there is a clearly marked bike lane on the road, it is up to the cyclist whether or not they want to use it or remain on the road. Cyclists can also ride their bikes on the footpath, as well as special purpose lanes such as bus lanes, tram lanes, and transit lanes. 

Still want to learn about cycling in Australia? Return to Australia cycling FAQs

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