Cycling in traffic and at intersections

When you're riding in heavy traffic, take extra care. Stay safe on multi-lane roundabouts, and when cycling on freeways and motorways.

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Before you negotiate an intersection, try to make eye contact with drivers who are giving way. If you do not see their eyes look at you, it is unlikely they have seen you.

Turning right

To ensure a safe right turn, look at the traffic around you then indicate and turn when the traffic is clear. Make sure you look over your shoulder to identify potential hazards beside or behind you before making the turn.

Hook turns

When you need to turn right in heavy traffic, you may find it useful to make a hook turn.

A hook turn is made in three stages, using the left lane to turn right:

  1. Position your bicycle to the far left side of the road then proceed into the intersection, keeping clear of any marked crossings.
  2. Wait near the far left side of the intersection; giving way to vehicles travelling straight through the intersection. If there are traffic lights, wait until the lights on the road you are entering turn green.
  3. Proceed when it is safe and legal.

Some intersections provide a hook turn storage box and you must use this facility. At some intersections, bicycle riders are prohibited from making hook turns. A 'No Hook Turn by Bicycles' sign will be displayed.

Hook turn by bicycle at intersection
Hook turn by bicycle at intersection

Multi-lane roundabouts

You should assess your own skill level before attempting to travel through a multi-lane roundabout. If you don't feel comfortable negotiating a multi-lane roundabout, take a different route.

Turning right at multi-lane roundabouts can be dangerous for bicycle riders - particularly if you are unfamiliar with the area or if there is heavy traffic.

You can make a right turn in one of two ways:

  • use the outer left lane, giving way at each exit to all traffic exiting the roundabout
  • use the inner right lane and complete the turn in the same way a car would do.
Turning and using lanes on a multi-lane roundabout
Turning and using lanes on a multi-lane roundabout

Freeways and motorways

Freeways and motorways carry large volumes of traffic with multiple high-speed traffic lanes in each direction.

If you ride a bicycle along a freeway or a motorway, you must obey the law and only ride on the shoulder. It is essential to take good care when riding along the shoulders of freeways and motorways - particularly when approaching and crossing access ramps used by both bicycles and vehicles.

Be aware that you may not be able to use all sections of the freeway or motorway. Check your route before starting your journey.

Freeway/motorway crossing points

If you ride your bicycle on freeways and motorways, look for and, whenever possible, use designated signposted bicycle crossing areas.

Be aware that vehicles are generally travelling fast, so make sure you allow more space before crossing.

Avoid riding beside heavy vehicles. Slow or stop to allow them to pass, then safely continue your journey.

Bicycle storage areas

Some signalised intersections may have bicycle storage areas. These are painted areas on the road in front of the stop line that allow you to wait at traffic lights in safety.

You can enter these areas from the preceding bicycle lane moving to the far left or right to make your left or right turn. You must wait for the green signal before proceeding and follow the arrows on the road.

Bicycle storage area at traffic lights
Bicycle storage area at traffic lights
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