Riding safety tips and intersections

Read our riding safety tips and suggestions for getting through busy intersections.

Riding safety tips

Plan your trip

The best bike route is often different to the way you would take a car. Have a look at the Online Everyday Riding Map to assist with planning the safest route for you. Scan over the route you intend to take to familiarise yourself with on-road sections and plan how to make your way through intersections.

Be visible

Bright or hi-vis clothing and lights can help other vehicles see you. Riding in the gutter can make you less visible to other vehicles so allow appropriate distance from the curb, this also helps you avoid debris near the curb.


Use your bell, voice and hand signals to communicate with other road users; consider what others may expect you to do and ride predictably. Make eye contact with drivers and pedestrians when practical to do so.

Scan surroundings

Be aware of things ahead and behind you. Look out for people opening car doors and cars turning in front of you, pulling out of driveways or leaving parking spots. Make eye contact with drivers or pedestrians that may block your path and be prepared to give way.

Allow space

Slow down when there is traffic or potential hazards so that you have time to react. Ride in bike lanes if available, unless it's impractical to do so. Leave space next to parked cars if possible or slow down to avoid car dooring. Where a road is too narrow for a car to pass safely, it can be safest to move into the centre of a traffic lane, moving left again when safe to do so; remember to scan around yourself to check it is safe and signal by extending your arm before moving into the lane.

Use caution at intersections

Look for other vehicles before going through an intersection. Be careful overtaking cars on the left and give way to those turning left in front of you. Be aware of vehicle blind spots and don’t pass heavy vehicles on the left in case they can’t see you. Consider using a hook turn where right turns are permitted, or get off your bike and walk it through difficult intersections.

Know your bike

Be prepared to react quickly and be ready to break. Keep your bike maintained. Know how to use your bike including riding with one hand to use hand signals. To take off smoothly from a stopped position, change into an easy gear before stopping and move the pedals to the power position (with one pedal just forward of the highest point of rotation) before starting again.

Follow the rules

Bike Law is a bike rider's guide to road rules in Victoria, including required equipment (helmet, brakes, bell and lights) and riding with vehicles.

Consider the riding surface

Be careful when there are changes to the riding surface including when there is rain, when crossing bluestones or tram tracks (keep your wheels at an angle to the tracks when crossing).

Intersection suggestions

When riding on-road, it's important to know a few key points including how to turn right, move through roundabouts and traffic lights. If unsure, you can always dismount and walk through an intersection too.


If safe and practical to do so, move to the front of vehicles waiting at an intersection where you'll be move visible. Avoid blocking left turn lanes when you're going straight ahead by waiting to the right of left turning vehicles. Be aware of vehicle blind spots. Do not overtake vehicles on the left if they are indicating that they are turning left. Give trucks and large vehicles space at intersections and wait behind them, do not overtake or wait in a blind spot.

At traffic lights, wait in the bike box if available and practical to do so - A bike box is an area in front of the stopping line for other traffic, marked with a bike symbol. Bike boxes provide bike riders with a head start over other traffic and increase visibility.

Position yourself to increase visibility at intersections
Riding safety at intersections

Turning right

To turn right or to move into a lane to your right, scan around yourself to check it is safe and signal to move right by extending your right arm. Hook turns can make right turns at intersections safer and easier, and bike riders can do a hook turn at any intersection unless a road sign says otherwise.

A hook turn is a right turn from the left side of the road:

  • Starting on the left side of the road to enter the intersection, ride straight ahead until the centre of the intersection (to avoid left turning vehicles thinking you're turning left)
  • Move left after the centreline into the bike box of the road you’re turning onto, or in front of the traffic line if there is no bike box
  • Stop and turn your bike to face the direction you will continue in
  • Wait until the lights on the road you are entering turn green, or if there are no lights, until it is safe and legal to proceed
Riding safety suggestion for hook turns
Riding safety suggestion hook turns


Ride in bike lanes if available and safe to do so. Otherwise where the road is too narrow for a car to pass safely, it can be safest to move into the centre of a traffic lane; remember to scan around yourself to check it is safe and signal by extending your arm before moving into the lane. For single-lane roundabouts without a bike lane, ride in the middle of the lane. For a multi-lane roundabout without a bike lane, you can use the right lane to turn right, or use the left lane, even if turning right. If you use the left lane or a bike lane, you need to give way to vehicles exiting the roundabout. Remember to signal your intentions.

Riding safety suggestion for roundabouts
Riding safety suggestion for roundabouts