Cyclists are vulnerable road users. View more on  cyclists involved in road crashes in South Australia (PDF).

South Australia’s Road Safety Strategy 2020 – Towards Zero Together recognises that the most effective measures to improve cyclist safety are by either providing lower speed environments where motor vehicles and bicycles travel at comparable speeds, or by providing separation between cyclists and vehicles where there are significant speed differences.

The Road Safety Action Plan 2013-2016 therefore identifies a number of key actions benefitting cyclists:

  • Provide cyclists with attractive alternatives to travelling on arterial roads;
  • Create safer neighbourhoods and pedestrian friendly streets with lower vehicle travel speeds;
  • Support local government and communities through grants and programs to influence road users towards safer, greener and more active travel;
  • Develop “sharing the road” education campaigns to raise drivers’ awareness of safe behaviours in the presence of cyclists.

What the law says

The Road Traffic Act defines bicycles as vehicles and cyclists therefore have a legitimate right to use our roads. Cyclists, just like motor vehicle drivers, have a responsibility to obey the Road Rules.

It is essential that all bicycle riders understand and behave in accordance with the road rules for their own, and other road users’ safety.

To find out more on what the law says in relation to cyclist responsibilities and motor vehicle driver responsibilities towards cyclists when on our roads see Cycling and the law.

Recent changes to the law that came into effect on 25 October 2015 mean that:

  • Drivers should now give cyclists plenty of room;  a minimum of one metre when passing a cyclist where the speed limit is 60km/h or less or 1.5 metres where the speed limit is over 60km/h.
  • Cyclists of all ages are now allowed to also ride on footpaths unless a ‘no bicycles’ sign is present.

To assist drivers to comply with the rule to “stay wider of a rider”, if a driver has a clear view of any approaching traffic and can do so safely, they are permitted to:

  • Drive to the right of the centre of the road
  • Drive to the right of the dividing line
  • Drive on a dividing strip that is at the same level as the road
  • Drive on or over continuous lines around a painted island
  • Straddle lanes
  • Move across lanes
  • Drive not completely in a single line of traffic.

Read more about these new cycling laws.


When riding a bicycle you can be charged with a traffic offence in the same way as a motor vehicle driver. This includes incurring demerit points against your drivers licence for a certain offence. You can incur demerit points even if you don’t hold a drivers licence (which can prohibit you from obtaining one).

Safer, greener and more active travel

One of the strategic priorities in South Australia’s Strategic Plan envisions neighbourhoods that are safe and welcoming, where people can live active and healthy lives and feel part of the community.

Current government projects support a range of initiatives encouraging people to ride, walk or catch public transport, road safety improvements or replacing car journeys with technology such as teleconferencing and virtual web meetings. The state government is committed to doubling the number of people cycling in South Australia by 2020.

The Cycle instead journey planner is one of these initiatives, providing a dynamic tool that can suggest cycling routes using Adelaide's Bikedirect network of main roads, bike lanes, local streets, off-road paths and some unsealed paths.

Publications and links

Cyclists Involved in Road Crashes in South Australia

Cycling and the Law

Cycle instead journey planner

Australian Bicycle Council

Bicycle Lanes


Latest news


Think! Road Safety in regional South Australia as grain harvest gets underway

09 Nov 2020

As the weather starts to warm up across South Australia, grain harvest gets underway across our grain growing regions.


Community Consultation Open - South Australia’s Road Safety Strategy to 2031

13 Oct 2020

The South Australian Government is developing a new strategy for the next ten years: South Australia’s Road Safety Strategy to 2031.

News archive

Road safety works


Final asphalt for Darlington Upgrade Project

07 Nov 2020

As part of the Darlington Upgrade Project, night and weekend works will be undertaken in the lowered motorway and on South Road to install the final layer of asphalt and line marking.


Heysen Tunnels maintenance works

06 Oct 2020

Motorists are advised of upcoming partial closures of the Heysen Tunnels to allow for essential safety maintenance works.

Road safety works archive


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