Road Safety

In This Section

Education of Cyclists, Motorists and Pedestrians on Road Sharing and Safety

Information on road sharing and safety for various groups, including bicycle, motorists and pedestrians is not unique to the Woollahra municipality.

Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) has a Centre for Road Safety whose aim is to develop practical solutions which reduce death and injury on NSW roads while taking into account our changing road user community and environment.

The NSW Centre for Road Safety has key responsibilities such as:

  • Development and reviewing speed zone policies to ensure safety
  • Allocating flashing lights outside schools in high crash risk areas
  • Funding targeted police operations and programs
  • Testing new road safety technologies
  • Producing road safety education material for schools and local communities
  • Developing awareness campaigns to improve road user behaviour

In general, RMS would prefer that Councils utilise the same road safety messages and resources which have been developed by RMS. This helps to ensure consistency in the road safety message across NSW.

RMS and the NSW Centre for Road Safety already have a number of road safety education programs in place which aim to educate cyclists, motorists and pedestrians on road sharing and safety. These education programs are applicable to Woollahra and NSW in general.

Please visit Roads and Maritime Services for more information.

Road Rules

Motorists & Bicycle Riders

Bicycles are considered a “vehicle” under the Australian Road Rules and they must therefore follow the same rules which apply to cars and other vehicles (unless given a specific exemption). The following is a list of road rules which are particularly pertinent to motorists and bicycle riders in NSW, when sharing the road with others:

  • Vehicles must travel at the posted speed limit. In built up areas, the default speed limit (unless signage states otherwise) is 50 km/h.
  • The speed limit in marked Shared Zones is 10 km/h. Vehicles must give way to pedestrians.
  • The speed limit in High Pedestrian Activity areas is 40 km/h. Motorists should be aware that there are high numbers of pedestrians and they should be prepared to stop for pedestrians, if required.
  • Vehicles must give way at pedestrian crossings. Motorists should drive at a speed that allows the vehicle to safely stop in advance of the pedestrian crossing.
  • Vehicles must give way to pedestrians when entering or exiting a driveway.
  • When turning right at an un-signalised T-intersection, vehicles must give way to any pedestrians.
  • Vehicles must give way to pedestrians where there is a flashing yellow arrow at a signalised marked pedestrian crossing.
  • Vehicles must give way to pedestrians if there is any chance of colliding with them.
  • Vehicles must not overtake or pass a vehicle that is stopping or slowing at a pedestrian crossing.
  • All vehicles must obey traffic lights, Stop signs and Give Way signs.
  • Motorists must not drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Motorists

The following is a list of road rules which are particularly pertinent to motorists in NSW, when sharing the road with others:

  • Roads are not exclusively for cars. Motorists must drive with consideration and share the road with other road users, including other motorists, pedestrians and bicycle riders.
  • Motorists must give bicycle riders at least one metre of space between the rider and the motorists vehicle.
  • Bicycles are permitted to take up an entire travel lane.  Motorists should not expect bicycles to move to the road shoulder in order to allow motorists to overtake. Motorists should change lanes when overtaking bicycle riders on multi-lane roads and allow at least a one metre gap when overtaking bicycle riders in a single lane situation.
  • Motorists should check their mirrors and over their shoulder for bicycle riders before opening the door to exit their vehicle. It is illegal to cause a hazard to any bicycle rider, pedestrian or another vehicle by opening a door or getting out of a vehicle.
  • Motorists may only park in marked bays within Shared Zones.
  • It is unlawful to queue across intersections.

Bicycle Riders

The following is a list of road rules which are particularly pertinent to bicycle riders in NSW, when sharing the road with others:

  • Bicycle riders over the age of 18 must carry photo identification at all times.
  • Bicycle riders must wear an approved bicycle helmet, properly fitted and fastened to their head. This applies to all bicycle riders, regardless of age.
  • Bicycles must be fitted with a bell, horn, or similar warning device.
  • Bicycles must be fitted with at least one working brake.
  • If riding at night, bicycles must be fitted with the following:
    *   A steady or flashing white light that is clearly visible for at least 200 metres.
    *   A flashing or steady red light that is clearly visible for at least 200 metres from the rear of the bike.
    *   A red rear reflector that is clearly visible for 50 metres when light is projected onto it by a vehicle’s headlight on low beam.
  • Cyclist must maintain control of their bike at all times. It is an offence to ride with both hands off the handlebars, feet off the pedals or to carry anything which prevents them from having control.
  • Cyclists may ride in Transit Lanes and Bus Lanes.
  • Cyclists may not ride in Bus Only Lanes.
  • Children less than 12 years of age, and an accompanying adult if supervising a child, are permitted to ride a bicycle on the footpath.
  • Cyclists may ride two abreast, no more than 1.5 m apart.
  • Cyclists may overtake on the left hand side of stopped or slow moving vehicles.
  • Cyclists may turn right from the left hand lane of a multi-lane roundabout; however they must give way to traffic exiting the roundabout before them.
  • Cyclists may travel on road shoulders.
  • Cyclists may not cross the road at un-signalised pedestrian crossings.
  • Cyclists may not cross the road at signalised crossings unless there are special bicycle lights.
  • Bicycle lanes are indicated by a special sign. Where bicycle lanes are provided, riders must use them whenever practicable.
  • Cyclists must give a hand signal when merging into the right lane or when turning right.

Pedestrians

The following is a list of road rules which are particularly pertinent to pedestrians in NSW, when sharing the road with others:

  • Pedestrians must always use a marked pedestrian crossing or signalised pedestrian crossing, if there is one within 20 metres.
  • Pedestrians must cross the road via the shortest route possible, and not stay on the road any longer than is necessary.
  • Pedestrians do not have right of way at a pedestrian refuge island; pedestrians must wait for a break in the traffic. Pedestrian refuges are installed to allow pedestrians to cross busier roads in two stages.

Further information on Road Rules is available on the Roads and Maritime Services website.

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