On 1 August 2019, the road rules were amended in the Northern Territory. To find out more, go to the 2019 NT road rule changes campaign page.

Cycling is a popular activity with 26% of Territorians cycling in a typical week. Cyclists are vulnerable road users as they have little protection while on the road and are more at risk of dying or being injured if involved in a crash.

On average 18 cyclists are seriously injured each year on Territory roads and between 2017 - 2016, 4 cyclists have died.

Bicycles are classified as vehicles and therefore need to obey the road rules. Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as all other drivers on the road.

Current initiatives

  • review of the cycle networks in Greater Darwin, Katherine, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs
  • bike safety education programs are delivered by Road Safety Community Engagement Officers in schools across the Territory and at the Road Safety Bike Education Centres in Darwin and Alice Springs
  • nationwide study into cycling participation and driver-cyclist interactions
  • support for bicycle groups in community rider safety initiatives, including Ride to Work and Ride to School National Campaigns.

What you can do

  • cyclists:
    • wear an Australian Approved bicycle helmet at all times
    • wear bright coloured clothing and shoes
    • ensure your bicycle is road worthy, and has lights, reflectors and a bell
    • use your bell when approaching pedestrians
    • plan your route to utilise bike lanes and segregated bike paths where possible
  • drivers:
    • allow at least one metre of passing distance for cyclists if travelling at 60km/h or less, or 1.5 metres if travelling at 70km/h or over (exemptions apply)
    • always check mirrors before opening car doors.
  • get your Primary School to book a bike safety education session
  • teach children to ride on bike paths and avoid the road where possible.

Relevant Towards Zero Road Safety Action Plan 2018-2022 actions

 ActionsYearLeadSupport Safe System
12.1 Invest in separated cycling infrastructure 1-5 DIPL LGANT Safe road use
Safe roads and roadsides
12.2 Promote bike education for school students and safe cycling with other groups, such as heavy vehicles 1-5 DIPL   Safe road use
12.3 Introduce a minimum overtaking distance law for passing cyclists (the ‘1m rule’), including a targeted education and awareness campaign, which aligns with Police enforcement 1-2 DIPL Police Safe road use


Related links