A Snap Shot Guide to National and State Cycling Laws of Australia

For a more comprehensive information guide regarding power assisted cycling refer to the link below to access the respective State government transport information centre.

Cycling and the law in West Australia

http://www.transport.wa.gov.au/cycling/1976.aspAs riding a bicycle continues to grow in popularity, so does the need to inform those thousands of riders about their rights and responsibilities on paths and roadways. Having a sound knowledge of the following laws should make the experience of cycling even more enjoyable.

The road rules

The Road Traffic Act and Code
When using a public road, all bicycle riders must obey the same rules as other vehicles such as cars and trucks. The most common rules include those applying to traffic control lights, stop signs, careless and reckless riding, riding under the influence of alcohol, and keep left.
Note: Readers can access a full version of the Road Traffic Code 2000, the Road Traffic Act 1974 and the Vehicle Standards Regulations 2000 at their library or on the State Law Publisher website at http://www.slp.wa.gov.au/statutes/swans.nsf
Rules applying only to cyclists
In addition to the road rules applying to all vehicles, there are some specific examples that only apply to cyclists. A bicycle rider:

  • must have at least one hand on the handlebars while in motion.
  • must wear an approved helmet while in motion (unless exempted).
  • must not ride within two metres of the rear of a motor vehicle, over a distance of more than 200 metres.
  • must not hold onto another moving vehicle or be towed by it.
  • must not ride a bicycle on a freeway or other road that has designated restrictions that prohibit riding.
  • must not be more than two bicycles abreast on a road. When riding abreast, the two bicycles must be no more than 1.5 metres apart.
    Note: this rule does not prevent another cyclist from overtaking.
  • must use the correct hand signals to turn left or right, and to stop.
    Turning left:
    fully extend your left arm and hand.
    Turning right:
    fully extend your right arm and hand.
    Stopping:
    extend the right arm horizontally, bending upwards at the elbow. Hand should be open with the palm forward.
  • can use the left lane of a roundabout when turning right, provided he or she gives way to all exiting traffic.
  • must not ride in a pedestrian mall.
  • cannot overtake on the left side of a motor vehicle if that motor vehicle is moving and indicating to turn left.
    Note: cyclists are permitted to overtake on the left, a line of motor vehicles that are stationary, at locations such as traffic lights.

Cycling and the law in Queensland

http://www.transport.qld.gov.au/Home/General_information/Wheeled_recreational_devices/ Motorised_foot_scooters/Motorised foot scooters and motorised bicycles
A motorised foot scooter is a scooter which has an electric motor attached of 200 watts output or less. The manufacturer of the scooter must certify that the power output does not exceed 200 watts, by either attaching a plate to the motor or engraving it.
A motorised foot scooter is a wheeled recreational device. In addition to complying with the above rules regarding where and when a wheeled recreational device can be used, a person using a motorised foot scooter must also wear an approved bicycle helmet.
Rules for motorised bicycles
A motorised bicycle is a bicycle to which an electric motor is attached. The motor must not be capable of generating more than 200 watts of power. It is illegal to ride a bicycle on roads or road-related areas (such as paths) if the bicycle has an internal combustion engine (for example, a petrol or diesel motor) attached or an electric motor which is capable of generating more than 200 watts.
Motorised bicycles are required to adhere to the same road rules as bicycles and have the same rights and responsibilities. Motorised bicycles are exempt from registration and compulsory third party insurance.
A two-wheeled vehicle with an internal combustion engine, or an electric motor capable of generating over 200 watts, must comply with the Australian Design Rules* requirements for a motorbike if it is to be ridden on roads or road-related areas.

Cycling and the law in Victoria

http://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/Home/SafetyAndRules/RoadRules/Bicycles.htmWhat is a bicycle?
A bicycle is a vehicle that has two or more wheels, built to be propelled by human power through a belt, chain or gears (whether or not it has an auxiliary motor, provided the motor’s maximum power output does not exceed 200 watts). Pedicabs (cycle rickshaws) penny farthings and tricycles are considered to be bicycles. However, wheelchairs, wheeled toys and scooters are not.
It is not a bicycle if:
the motor is the primary source of power (this includes electric scooters with pedals that are not built to be propelled primarily by human power), or
the motor’s power output exceeds 200 watts (whether or not the motor is operating).
These are considered to be motor vehicles. The rider will be required to hold a motorcycle licence and have the vehicle registered before it can be used on the road network, including footpaths and bicycle paths.
Bicycle rack number plates
Please refer to Bicycle rack number plates information.
Rule references
Road Safety Road Rules 2009
97 Road access signs
Part 15 – Additional rules for bicycle riders

To look up these rules and check for other related rules, please refer to the Acts and Regulations administered by VicRoads.

Cycling and the law in New South Whales

http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/registration/downloads/vsi/vsi_27_-_mopeds_and_power-assisted_pedal_cycles_july_2008.pdfMotorised scooters, mini bikes and other motorised devices
In NSW any device with a motor must be registered for use on a road or road related area unless it is specifically exempt.
Motorised foot scooters, miniature motorbikes (also known as mini bikes, pocket bikes or monkey bikes) and other motorised recreational devices do not meet minimum Australian design standards for safety and so cannot be registered. This means they must not be used on roads or in any public areas such as footpaths, car parks and parks.
There are heavy penalties for using unregistered and uninsured vehicles. Police can also seize and take possession of unregistered vehicles.
There are some retailers who sell these vehicles and fail to warn customers that they cannot be used on roads or in public areas.
The Fair Trading Amendment (Monkey Bikes) Regulation 2007 prescribes the minimum safety standard provisions for the supply of off-road monkey bikes in New South Wales. For more information about monkey bikes, go to the Office of Fair Trading website.
For more information about vehicle standards related to motorcycles, mopeds and power-assisted pedal cycles, see:

  • VSI 27 – Mopeds and motor-assisted pedal cycles, and
  • VSI 28 – Guidelines for modification to motorcycles,

Available from the Vehicle standard information sheets section.
Exemptions
All devices with a motor that meet national design and safety standards must be registered for use on a road or road-related area unless they are specifically exempt.
Motor assisted pedal cycles with electric or petrol engines are exempt from registration, provided the maximum engine output power does not exceed 200 watts. These vehicles must have been designed as a bicycle – that is, to be propelled by human power, with the motor attached as a supplementary aid only. Riders must follow the same road rules as for pedal cycles without motors, including wearing a helmet.
Motorised wheelchairs and other types of disabled persons’ conveyances are exempt from registration and operators of these vehicles must comply with the same road rules as pedestrians. This is provided:

  • They are used solely for the conveyance of a person with a disability that substantially impairs the person’s mobility.
  • They are not capable of travelling at more than 10km/h.

Prohibited vehicles
The following vehicles (irrespective of the power output of the motor) are banned from use on roads or in public areas.
Motorised foot scooters (with or without a seat) – electric/petrol engine
Mini bikes or monkey bikes
Motorised human transporters such as the WheelMan, or SEGWAY
Motorised skateboards – electric/petrol engine
Vehicle standards information sheets for vehicle owners and operators in New South Wale
Vehicle standards information sheets

Cycling and the law in Tasmania


http://www.transport.tas.gov.au/standards/information_bulletins/scooters

Scooters – Light Vehicle Technical Bulletin
This bulletin is a guideline only. At all times the appropriate legislation currently in force takes precedence.

Introduction
This Bulletin explains the legality of powered scooters, skateboards and bicycles, and miniature motor cycles etc.
Tasmanian Legislation
The Tasmanian Vehicle and Traffic Act 1999 defines a motor vehicle
“motor vehicle” means a vehicle that is built to be propelled by a motor that forms part of the vehicle but does not include;
an aircraft, or a motor vehicle that travels only on a railway, tramway or other fixed track, or
a pedal cycle with an auxiliary motor (or motors) with a power output (or combined output) of not more than 200 watts; or
a self-propelled lawn mower that is not capable of travelling at a speed of more than 10km/h; or
a self-propelled wheelchair that is not capable of travelling at a speed of more than 10km/h, or
a self-propelled vehicle
(a) not capable of travelling at a speed of more than 10km/h; and
(b) designed for off-road work in construction, maintenance or warehouse operation; and
(c) only used on a public street for the purpose of loading or unloading the vehicle onto another vehicle, or manoeuvring at a work site.
Any scooter with a motor is considered to be a motor vehicle.
A motor vehicle must be registered if it is parked or used on a public street or a road related area. A motor vehicle must not be used on a footpath or shared pathway.

Policy

Any motorised vehicle which is not excluded from the definition of “motor vehicle” must be registered if it is used on a public street or a road related area.
To be eligible for registration all vehicles must comply with relevant Australian Design Rules and the Vehicle Standards and be fitted with an approved Australian compliance plate.
Any vehicle which is not fitted with an approved Australian compliance plate is not eligible for registration, and must not be used on a public street or road related area.
A pedal cycle with an auxiliary motor (or motors) with a power output (or combined output) of not more than 200 watts does not require to be registered and may be used on public streets and on road related areas. The rider does not need to hold a current drivers licence but must wear an approved bicycle helmet and obey all Road Rules.

Cycling and the law in the Northern Territory


http://www.nt.gov.au/transport/mvr/vehiclestandards/infobulletins/ibv56.pdf

Power-assisted Cycle
A power-assisted cycle is essentially a complying bicycle that has been fitted with an engine or motor of some description.
Powered cycles are defined in the NT Motor Vehicles Act as; A bicycle/tricycle that is equipped:
(a)
with pedals as a means of propulsion; and
(b)
with an engine or motor which is capable of producing a power output not exceeding 200 watts.
These bicycles are not required to be registered and can be ridden on the road network and in public places. All regulations relating to bicycles, including the requirement to wear helmets, apply.
General Information http://www.nt.gov.au/transport/mvr/
The use of motorised scooters and power assisted cycles on private property is not regulated.

Cycling and the law in South Australia


http://www.sa.gov.au/subject/Transport,+travel+and+motoring/Cycling/Riding+a+power-assisted+bicycle

Riding a power-assisted bicycle ….What is a power-assisted bicycle?
A power assisted bicycle is a pedal cycle with a motor attached to help the rider. The attached motor (or motors) may provide up to 200 Watts of assistance.
Road rules for power-assisted bicycles
Riders do not require a driver’s licence, motor vehicle registration or compulsory third party insurance.
Riders are bound by the same rules as other bicycles, including the need for the rider to wear a helmet and the power-assisted bicycle to have:
effective brakes – a bell, or other audible warning device – a rear-facing red reflector at night – a white light to the front and a red light to the rear at night (both may flash) clearly visible from at least 200 metres.
Differences between a power-assisted bicycle and a motorcycle
At first glance some motorbikes with pedals look similar to power-assisted bicycles. The main differences are speed, pedal crank spacing, weight, seat position, seat shape and gearing.
A good rule of thumb is that if the main means of propulsion is by pedal power and the motor produces 200 Watts or less then it is a power-assisted pedal cycle.

If the main source of power is the motor then it is a motor vehicle and operating it requires a driver’s licence, registration and compulsory third party insurance.
This example a is a power-assisted bicycle. It has an adjustable bicycle seat and gears to make it easier to pedal, as well as a battery pack and a 200 Watt motor to assist the rider.
More information Office of Business and Consumer Affairs consumer warning regarding certain power-assisted bicycles.
Related Tags: cycling, motorbikes, motorcycles, law, registration, bicycles

Cycling and the law in the Australian Capital Territory

http://www.tams.act.gov.au/move/cycling/cycling_and_walking_map/road_rules

On-road cycle lane
Mostly black bitumen often marked with white centre lines)
The use of shared paths is restricted to non-motorised transport (with the exception of motorised wheelchairs and power assisted pedal cycles). Both pedestrians and cyclists must share the use of these paths. Please respect all users and be prepared to give way to cyclists and pedestrians as necessary. When cycling, warn of your approach by sounding your bell; if you are cycling or walking, keep to the left. Cyclists should pass pedestrians on the right. Cyclists should give way to pedestrians and other users at all times. If you are a pedestrian, keep a look out for cyclists and give them room to pass. Dogs must be on a leash at all times.
For more information about road and path user rules: ACT – view the Road Transport content or call on 13 22 81

Download Manual