Starting

Before you move off from the side of the road, think which way you intend to go and look both ahead and behind, particularly over your right shoulder, for moving traffic. If there is traffic approaching, wait until it has passed. Signal clearly with your right arm when the traffic has passed.

Stopping

Except in an emergency, stopping must be done carefully and gradually. Think of where you wish to stop and look particularly to the rear over your right shoulder for following traffic. Signal that you are going to slow down and stop. But when braking keep both hands on the handlebars.

On wet roads it will take you much longer to stop so allow at least twice the distance than normal.

Emergency stop

Do not signal. Keep both hands on the handlebars to maintain control and use both brakes.

Riding along

Always keep both hands on the handlebars unless you are signalling.

You must keep one hand on the handlebars at all times.

Always keep both feet on the pedals.

Ride along near the kerb or side of the road -- about 1/2 metre away.

If there is a cycleway or cycle lane you must use it.

You must ride in single file except when overtaking.

You must never be towed or hold on to a vehicle or tow another cyclist or other vehicle.

You must not carry a passenger.

You must not carry anything which might affect your complete control of your cycle or your balance, or catch in the wheels or chain.

You must not carry anything that blocks, or may block, your view of the road.

Do not wear earphones of any audio devices.

Do not lead an animal.

Cycling is prohibited beyond the sign

Cycling is prohibited beyond the sign. Cyclists must dismount and push their bicycle or tricycle to proceed beyond the sign.

You must not ride a cycle in the opposite direction to traffic either on a one-way road or on the right-hand side of a two-way road.

You must obey any traffic sign or road marking that gives orders to all vehicles.

Watch out for pedestrians, particularly small children, who may step or run onto the road suddenly in front of you even though you think they have seen you coming. You are riding where they least expect to see a vehicle.

Sign marking the end of cycling restriction

Sign marking the end of cycling restriction

Watch out for other vehicles, particularly when approaching a junction. Drivers may turn left across your path.

Keep a safe distance from any vehicle you are following. Never hold on to it or get close. If it stops suddenly, you may not have time to do so.

Certain sections of roads may be too steep for safe cycling. Where there is no alternative bypass route, you should dismount and push your cycle through the steep road section. There are signs which mark the start and end of these steep road sections.

You must not enter or ride in a 'Tunnel area' or an 'Expressway'. The start and end of a 'Tunnel area' or an 'Expressway' are marked by traffic signs.

If riding at night or in poor visibility you must switch on your cycle lamps, a white light to the front and a red light to the rear.

Road Sign Road Sign  
You must not ride or push your cycle past a traffic sign banning cycles. These are often found near elevated roads, flyovers and underpasses.

Use of the bell

Use your bell to warn other road users, only when it is necessary, of your presence.

Drivers may not hear your warning bell, so you should take every safety precaution to avoid the need to give a warning.

You must not use your bell to demand other road users, especially pedestrians, to clear the way --unless you are unable to stop.

Overtaking

illustration

When riding along a road you often need to overtake vehicles which are stopped or which are moving more slowly than your, or to pass road works or stalls on the side of the road.

Before overtaking a parked or slow-moving vehicle, such as another cyclist, think of which line you wish to take. Look behind over your right shoulder for approaching vehicles and let them pass before moving out. Time your manoeuvre so that you are not overtaking as they pass you. Ensure also that while overtaking you will be in no danger from vehicles coming in the opposite direction. Signal with your right arm before moving out.

When about to overtake a parked vehicle you should look out for any pedestrians who may appear suddenly from behind the vehicle; also watch for any driver or passenger of a vehicle likely to open a door into your path. If possible leave a door's width clearance between the cycle and the vehicle.

It is very dangerous to overtake on the left of a vehicle. The only times when you can overtake on the left are

  • When it is obvious from the vehicle's position, its speed and its signals that it is going to turn right.
  • In one-way streets ( but not dual carriageways ) where vehicles can pass on either side.

Do not pass a bus on the left at a bus stop. Wait until it moves off unless it is safe to pass it on the right and you can return to your normal path before the bus moves off.

You should never overtake on the left of or weave in and out of a line of traffic which has stopped or is moving slowly. Here it is often better to wait for the traffic to move, or get off and wheel the cycle along.

Bus lanes

illustrationYou may use bus lanes unless there are signs banning cyclists, generally they will be safer than the normal traffic lanes. But keep close to the kerb or side of the road to allow buses to pass. Buses may be travelling faster than the traffic in the other lanes.

Look out for pedestrians who may step unexpectedly onto the road and for drivers who drive into a bus lane to gain access to premises or when taking evasive action. Be prepared to ride in normal traffic conditions at the end of the bus lane. ( For more information on bus lanes see page 57.)

Pedestrian crossings

You must give way to pedestrians on a 'Zebra' crossing. If there are any pedestrians on the crossing, wait at the 'Give way' line. You must not weave through pedestrians on a crossing or try to force your way.

At 'Green man' crossings you must stop and wait at the 'Stop' line if the red light is showing. You may only go forward if the green light is showing and the way is clear. Give way to any pedestrians still on the crossing.