Minimum Passing Distance

In May 2018, after a 2 year trial, the Minimum Passing Distance became permanent law in NSW.  Providing space when overtaking bike riders, is helping to protect our most vulnerable road users.

 

What is the Minimum Passing Distance? 

When the speed limit is 60km/h and under, a motor vehicle must provide bike riders 1 metre of space when overtaking.

When the speed limit is over 60km/h, a motor vehicle must provide 1.5 metres of space when overtaking.

 

The measurement is taken from the widest part of the bike or rider (i.e. handle bars or shoulder) to the widest part of the motor vehicle (i.e. a mirror)

Exemptions to the law that enable driver to provide bike riders with this space. 

 

Drivers will be exempted from the below, when passing a bike rider (with 1 or 1.5 metre of space):

  • Keep to the left of the centre of the road (two-way road with no dividing line)
  • Keep to the left of the centre of a dividing line - broken and unbroken lines
  • Keep off a flat dividing strip
  • Keep off a flat painted island
  • Driving within a single marked lane or line of traffic
  • Moving from one marked lane to another across a continuous line separating the lanes

Extending the courtesy to paths

When riding on shared path and footpaths, we strongly encourage riders to give pedestrians and other riders 1 metre of space when overtaking.

Bike riders are allowed to ride on footpaths if they are under the age of 16, or are with an under 16 bike rider. This means that parents, guardians, friends and siblings aged 18 years or over are legally allowed to ride on the footpath if they are accompanying a rider under 16. Read more about footpath riding in NSW here.