• Activity
  • Cycling

How do road laws apply to cyclists

Learning areas:
  • English
  • Health & Physical Education
Year levels:
  • Year 3
  • Year 4
  • Year 5
  • Year 6

Have a discussion about what students already know about cycling and road laws.

Ask students to think about what they may need to know about cycling, road use and the law to be able to ride safely and follow the law.

Have students generate questions about cycling, road use and the law that they could research. Questions could be generated around the bike itself and what is required of it to be legal, the cyclist, where on the road they can ride, what helmets are legal and what is required, signals required by the cyclist, who cyclists must give way to, etc.

Once questions have been generated, have students research the Victorian legal requirement and record it alongside the question.

Pool the questions and answers. Team up groups of students and have a representative compete in a quiz, with the ‘quizmaster’ asking questions and allowing the quickest person to provide the answer. The team with the most correct answers is the winner.

Clarify any questions that students appear to be unsure about.

Discussion questions

  • Should there be more or fewer road laws in relation to cyclists?
  • What would be a suitable penalty for cyclists who break the law?
  • Should cyclists be required to hold a licence or register their bikes before riding on the road?
  • Should people lose demerit points when they disobey the laws while cycling?

Information for teachers

Cyclists are required to obey the same road rules as drivers, plus some additional bicycle-specific rules.

Riding at night

If you are riding a bicycle at night you must have:

  • white light (flashing or steady) on the front
  • red light (flashing or steady) on the back
  • a red reflector on the back.

The lights must be visible from 200 metres and the reflector visible from 50 metres.

Riding with other riders

A cyclist can ride next to another cyclist (this is called ‘riding two abreast’) on the road with the following rules:

  • On single-lane roads, cyclists can’t ride beside more than one other cyclist (unless overtaking).
  • On multi-lane roads, cyclists:
    • can’t ride more than two abreast in any single marked lane (unless overtaking)
    • can ride more than two abreast across multiple lanes.
  • When travelling two abreast, cyclists shouldn’t be more than 1.5 metres apart.

Riding on a footpath or shared path

You can ride on a footpath if you:

  • are a child under the age of 12
  • are an adult supervising a child under the age of 12
  • have been given and are following the conditions on a medical certificate that says you have a disability that makes it difficult for you to ride on the road. You need to follow the conditions on your medical certificate and show it to a police officer or authorised person when asked.

When riding on footpaths and shared paths, cyclists need to:

  • keep to the left on footpaths and shared paths (unless impractical to do so)
  • give way to pedestrians

More information about road rules for cyclists can be found on the websites of both VicRoads (www.vicroads.vic.gov.au) and Bicycle Network Victoria (www.bicyclenetwork.com.au).

Victorian curriculum

Health and PE

Level 3 & 4

Describe and apply strategies that can be used in situations that make them feel uncomfortable or unsafe (VCHPEP090)

Identify and practise strategies to promote health, safety and wellbeing (VCHPEP091)

Level 5 & 6

Plan and practise strategies to promote health, safety and wellbeing (VCHPEP108)

Investigate community resources and strategies to seek help about health, safety and wellbeing (VCHPEP107)


Level 3

Read an increasing range of imaginative, informative and persuasive texts by combining phonic, semantic, contextual and grammatical knowledge, using text processing strategies, including confirming, rereading and cross-checking (VCELY256)

Level 4

Read different types of texts for specific purposes by combining phonic, semantic, contextual and grammatical knowledge using text processing strategies, including monitoring meaning, skimming, scanning and reviewing (VCELY287)

Level 5

Use comprehension strategies to analyse information, integrating and linking ideas from a variety of print and digital sources (VCELY319)

Level 6

Use comprehension strategies to interpret and analyse information and ideas, comparing content from a variety of textual sources including media and digital texts (VCELY347)