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New Zealand Road Code Test

Information for cyclists

Information for cyclists

As a cyclist, it is important that you follow the road rules and guidelines. They will increase your safety when you are cycling on the road.

Safety rules for cyclists

  • Cyclists must wear an approved safety helmet. Always fasten it securely, by following the manufacturer's instructions.
  • It's a good idea to wear brightly coloured or reflective clothing when cycling. That way you'll be easier to see.
  • Don't ride your bicycle on a footpath unless you are delivering newspapers, mail or leaflets, or there is a sign indicating it is a shared pedestrian and cycle path.
  • At intersections, you must:
    • follow the rules for motor vehicles, or
    • get off your cycle and walk across.
  • You can only ride alongside another cyclist or moped. You must not ride alongside a car, truck or other motor vehicle.
  • Always ride in single file if passing another vehicle.
  • Your cycle must not be towed by another vehicle.
  • Your cycle can only tow a trailer (one designed to be towed by a cycle) and must not be fitted with a sidecar.
  • You must not carry a pillion passenger on your cycle unless you have a pillion seat and footrest. If you are carrying a child, the pillion seat must protect the child's legs from the wheels.
  • You must not leave a cycle blocking a footpath.
  • Where there is an adequate cycle path or cycle lane, cyclists should use it.
  • You must ride with lights on when it is dark (from 30 minutes after sunset until 30 minutes before sunrise).
  • You must keep your cycle in good working condition.

Hand signals for cyclists

You must give a hand signal at least three seconds before stopping or turning.

Always check to make sure your hand signals have been seen and understood.

Look well behind you to make sure there is room for you to turn, pull out or pass safely.

The hand signal shown below means you want to turn left.

Picture of a cyclist using a left-turn hand signal

Left-turn hand signal

The hand signal shown below means you are stopping or slowing down.

Picture of a cyclist using a stop hand signal

Stop hand signal

The hand signal shown below means you:

  • want to turn right
  • are going to pass a vehicle or some other object on the road
  • are pulling out from the kerb.
Picture of a cyclist using a right-turn hand signal

Right-turn hand signal

What drivers would like cyclists to know

  • Drivers expect cyclists to obey the road rules.
  • Drivers usually travel faster than cyclists and therefore have less time to react to hazards. Remember this when you're on the road.
  • Sometimes cyclists' behaviour can unsettle drivers, such as when cyclists appear hesitant or change direction suddenly.
  • Drivers can feel delayed by cyclists.
  • Licensed drivers and cyclists both have a right to use our roads, and both share a responsibility to understand and respect each other's needs.

Features your cycle must have

Picture showing features a bicycle must have

Features your cycle must have

  • A. A red or yellow reflector at the back.
  • B. Good brakes on the front and back wheels (or, if the bike was made on or before 1 January 1988, a good brake on the back wheel).

When riding at night, cycles must have the following:

  • C. A steady or flashing rear-facing red light that can be seen at night from a distance of 100 metres.
  • D. One or two white or yellow headlights that can be seen at night from a distance of 100 metres (one of these lights may flash).
  • E. Yellow pedal reflectors, or the rider must be wearing reflective material.


Any load you carry on your cycle must be tied on firmly and must not touch the ground.



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