Riding two abreast

This important rule improves visibility and safety for bike riders.

#TOGETHERWECAN

 

The problem

There is a poor understanding among some people who don’t ride bikes about the legality and reasons for riding two abreast. 

 

The rule

Two bike riders are allowed to travel side-by-side, known as two abreast, if they are no more than 1.5 metres apart.

It is legal in any traffic lane on single and multi-lane roads.

It is not legal for more than two riders to travel together side-by-side, but a third rider can overtake riders who are two abreast.

The concerns

Some people get frustrated when bike riders are two abreast. They believe it is bad for traffic flow and makes it too hard to pass.

 

Bicycle Network’s position 

Bicycle Network supports laws that allow two bike riders to travel side-by-side.

Riding two abreast improves safety – it makes us more visible and helps to ensure that drivers pass bike riders at a safe distance.

It is a handy technique for bike riders, especially on roads with limited or rough shoulders. Bike riders in single file can easily be forced into these sections by car drivers that don’t feel the need to adjust their road position. 

Bike riders are vulnerable road users and we need to make riding more comfortable. We should never put traffic expediency ahead of people’s lives.

Cycling through the Orange region

The solution

Improve public knowledge about the importance of rules that allow riding two abreast.

We need to make sure people understand why bike riders like to travel two abreast and how it improves safety.

Talking about the reasons bike riders ride two abreast would not only remind people that it is legal – it would also reinforce the message that bike riders are legitimate road users.

There have been campaigns from transport groups including VicRoads explaining that riding two abreast is legal.

Bicycle Network encourages further community education campaigns that remind the public that bike riders can ride two abreast.

It’s also important to remember that bike riders don’t want to be in conflict with motorists, we just want to get where we’re going safely.

two abreast

Community campaign

VicRoads: Bike riders can go side-by-side

 

In 2017 VicRoads launched a publicity campaign reminding drivers of the rules that permit riding two abreast, informing them of the safety benefits.

VicRoads Director Road User and Vehicle Access, Robyn Seymour said some drivers encountering cyclists riding two abreast in such a situation might get frustrated or irritated.

“But the fact is that bike riders are legally entitled to ride like this, and by doing so, can significantly increase their visibility,” Ms Seymour said.

“Cyclists are some of our most vulnerable road users and can often be difficult for drivers to see, so by riding two abreast, they are more likely to be seen by drivers and given more space.”

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