Road rules

Note this page was last reviewed in 2008 and may not be current. Please send us a Lawmail if you need specific information or advice - www.lawstuff.org.au/lawmail

Seat belts

All car drivers and passengers in the ACT must wear seat belts.

The driver of a car will be fined and will lose demerit points for driving without wearing a seat belt themselves, or for carrying passengers under the age of 16 who do not wear seat belts or approved child restraints.

Passengers will be fined for not wearing seat belts if they are over 16.

The only times when you do not need to wear a seat belt is:

  •  if you are the driver and you are reversing;
  •  if you are the driver and you have a certificate from the Registrar of Motor Vehicles saying that you do not have to wear a seat belt;
  •  if you are the driver or passenger and you have a medical certificate saying that you cannot wear a seat belt;
  •  if there is no seat belt fitted to the seat you are in and no other seat with a seat belt is available.
  • If you are under 16 and there is no seat belt or approved child restraint fitted to the front seat of a car, you must sit in the back.
  • Children less than 1 year old cannot wear seat belts – they must wear an approved child restraint.

Motorcycle helmets

All motorcycle riders in the ACT must wear approved motorcycle helmets. There are no exceptions.

A motorcycle driver will be fined and will lose demerit points for riding without a helmet themselves, or for carrying a passenger under the age of 16 who does not wear a helmet.

A passenger will be fined for note wearing a helmet if they are over 16.

Bicycle helmets

All cyclists and passengers in the ACT must wear approved bicycle helmets. There are no exceptions.

You can be fined for not wearing a helmet.

Cycling at night
A cyclist must not ride at night or in reduced visibility conditions unless the bicycle or cyclist displays:
1. A flashing or steady white light that is clearly visible for at least 200 metres from the front of the bicycle, and
2. A flashing or steady red light that is clearly visible for at least 200 metres from the rear of the bicycle, and
3. A red reflector that is clearly visible for at least 50 metres from the rear of the bicycle when light is projected onto it by a car's headlights on low beam.

Cycling on the footpath
You can only ride your bike on a footpath if you are under 12 years old, unless you are supervising a child who is under 12 years old.

If you are riding on a footpath, you must give way to pedestrians and keep to the left side of the footpath.

Skateboards, rollerblades and rollerskates

There are laws which put limits on how you can use skateboards, rollerblades and rollerskates:

  • You must keep to the left of a footpath or shared path unless it is impractical to do so.
  • You must give way to pedestrians.
  • On a separated footpath, you must not use pedestrian designated areas of the path unless you are crossing the path by the shortest route and you do not stay for longer than it takes to cross safely.
  • You must not skate along a road that has a centre line, a lane line or a median strip.
  • You must not be towed by another vehicle.
  • You must not skate on public transport or inside a train station.
  • If the local council has put up a sign prohibiting skating in certain areas you must abide by these signs.

You could be fined for breaking any of these laws.

For more information on road rules and safety

See the ACT Road Rules Handbook on the ACT Government’s web site.

 This page was last reviewed in 2008.

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