Motorcycles are classified as motor vehicles and are therefore subject to the same general road rules as cars, trucks and other motor vehicles.
Specific road laws that apply to motorcycle riders
- An approved helmet must always be worn
- Modern motor cycles must have two rear view mirrors to provide a clear view of the road behind
- Only one pillion passenger may be carried and then only if the bike is fitted with proper footrests and seating
- Pillion passengers must always sit astride the seat facing forwards and with both feet on the footrests. Learner riders and riders who have not held a motor cycle licence for 12 months continuously may not carry a pillion passenger
- Riders may ride two-abreast, but no more than 1.5 metres apart
- Both the rider and passenger are responsible for ensuring the passenger wears an approved helmet
- You may ride to the right of centre of a traffic lane
- Riding between two lanes of stationary vehicles where lane lines are marked is not permitted.
The outline of a motorcycle is about one-third the size of a car, which makes it difficult for drivers to see them especially among other vehicles. Remember that a motorcycle rider can see a car much better than a driver can see a motorcycle.
To improve your chances of being seen by other road users, it is recommended that you:
- wear bright-coloured clothing;
- ride with your headlight on at all times;
- ride in a position on the road that provides maximum safety and visibility of your motor cycle to other road users (ie in position where driver of a car would normally be).
It is an offence to ride a motorcycle if you are over the blood alcohol limit. You could be fined and lose your licence.
It is against the law to ride a motorcycle under the influence of drugs. You could be fined, lose your licence, and even be imprisoned. ‘Drugs’ include cannabis, amphetamines, barbiturates, heroin and most sedatives (e.g. valium).
The police have the power to ask anyone who has been riding a motorcycle to have a breath test.
When choosing equipment and clothing, bear in mind the purpose: visibility as well as protection.
Both motor cycle rider and any pillion passenger must wear a safety helmet that complies with Australian Standard AS1698-1988 or a type approved by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles.
A white or brightly coloured helmet provides good visibility both by day and night. The helmet must be a snug fit and fastened at all times. Chin cups are not recommended.
Clothing of strong, brightly coloured material covering arms and legs is recommended. Leather gloves offer good protection for hands and enclosed, sturdy footwear protects feet. You should never ride in sandals, thongs or bare feet.