Whether you are a local resident or a visitor to Brisbane, you should have a basic understanding of the Brisbane Bicycle Rules so you can stay safe on your bike and keep out of trouble with the law.
Brisbane Bicycle Rules
Most of the Brisbane Bicycle Rules are fairly obvious like keep to the left, wear a helmet and don’t use a hand held mobile phone while riding.
Other Brisbane bicycle rules seem to be aimed at people with no basic commonsense who are just asking to get caught. Hanging on to the back of a moving vehicle is sheer stupidity, and is it even physically possible to face backwards while riding a bicycle?
Browsing through the list of bicycle rules I notice a few that I may have broken in my youth. I definitely used to ride my bicycle without any hands on the handlebars and I may have even been guilty of trying to take the dog for a walk while riding my bike.
Below are listed some of the Brisbane Bicycle Rules to make sure you stay safe next time you’re riding a bicycle. For a complete list of all the Brisbane bicycle rules visit Queensland Government Bicycle road rules and safety.
Penalties for bicycle riders
There is no minimum age limit for the issuing of fines by the police.
Bicycle riders who break the road rules in Brisbane will be given the same fines as motorists, but will not accumulate demerit points. Offences common to both bicycle riders and motorists include:
- failing to stop at a red traffic light
- disobeying a ‘no U-turn’ sign at an intersection
- failing to stop at a ‘stop’ sign at an intersection
- using a mobile phone – $391 fine
- exceeding the speed limit in a speed zone by less than 13km/h.
Common offences specific to bicycle riders include:
- carrying more passengers than the bicycle is designed for
- failing to give way to pedestrians on a footpath or shared path
- failing to display a light at night or in hazardous weather conditions
- failing to wear an approved helmet – $130 fine
General bicycle rules
- Riding a bicycle while not astride the rider’s seat facing forwards – $130 fine
- Failing to keep at least one hand on the handlebars – $130 fine
- Riding a bicycle using other than the seat position – $130 fine
- Failing to wear a helmet – $130 fine
Attaching a camera to your helmet
There are no Brisbane bicycle rules that prohibit you from attaching a camera to a bicycle helmet. You can also use a bicycle or a body mounted camera as an alternative.
- Riding a bicycle without brakes and a bell, horn or similar warning device – $130 fine
Bicycle equipment for night time and unsafe weather
- Failing to display a light at night or in hazardous weather conditions – $130 fine
If you ride at night or in weather conditions that make it difficult to see, you must display (either on the bicycle or on yourself):
- a white light (flashing or steady) that can be clearly seen at least 200m from the front of the bicycle
- a red light (flashing or steady) that can be clearly seen at least 200m from the back of the bicycle
- a red reflector that can be clearly seen at least 50m from behind the bicycle—when a vehicle’s headlights shine on it.
Bicycle riding and mobile phones
To keep yourself and other road users safe your full attention is needed when riding a bicycle. Using a mobile phone held in your hand when riding a bicycle is illegal and will result in a $391 fine — even if you’re stopped in traffic. This means you can’t:
- hold the phone next to or near your ear with your hand
- write, send or read a text message
- turn your phone on or off
- operate any other function on your phone.
Carrying people on your bicycle in Brisbane
- Carrying more persons than the bicycle is designed for – $130 fine
- Bicycle passenger not sitting in the seat designed for the passenger – $130 fine
- Riding a bicycle with passenger not in a seat designed for a passenger – $130 fine
Towing with a bicycle
You must not:
- ride a bicycle that is being towed by another vehicle – $130 fine
- hold on to a moving vehicle while riding a bicycle – $130 fine
- lead an animal while riding a bicycle – $130 fine
Riding with a person in a bicycle trailer
You can tow a child in or on a bicycle trailer if:
- you are 16 years or older
- the child is under 10 years old and is wearing an approved helmet that is securely fitted and fastened
- the bicycle trailer can safely carry the child.
Keeping left and overtaking
When you ride, you must:
- ride as close as possible to the left side (or on the road shoulder) on a single lane road. Or, you may take up any position within the lane on a multi-lane road
- ride to the left of any oncoming vehicle
- not overtake another vehicle on the left if that vehicle is indicating and turning left
- not overtake another vehicle on the left if it is not safe
- not ride with more than 2 riders side by side unless you are overtaking another rider
- ride no more than 1.5m apart, if travelling beside another rider.
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No matter what your level of fitness, jump on your bike and go out and enjoy yourself. But most of all – Stay Safe and follow the Brisbane Bike Rules!
If you don’t own a bicycle then read how to hire a Brisbane Citycycle. While you are out and about on your bike ride, make sure you photograph the best Instagram worthy spots in Brisbane and check out these Brisbane Bucket List Ideas.