Glenn Osboldstone

Senior Permissioning Officer, Environment Protection Authority Victoria

Dru Marsh

Manager of Internal Review, Environment Protection Authority Victoria

Road Rules and Regulations

Last updated

1 July 2022

Overview of the Road Rules and Regulations

The relevant regulations, under the Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic) (‘Road Safety Act’) are the:

  • Road Safety Road Rules 2017 (Vic) (‘Road Rules’ or ‘RR’) – these are the Victorian version of the Australian Road Rules;
  • Road Safety (Vehicles) Regulations 2021 (Vic) (‘Vehicles Regulations’); and
  • Road Safety (General) Regulations 2019 (Vic) (‘RS General Regulations’).

From 1 January 2020, the functions and powers held by VicRoads under the Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic) were transferred to the Secretary of the Victorian Government Department of Transport (‘Department of Transport’) and the Head of Transport Victoria under the Transport Legislation Amendment Act 2019 (Vic).

A note on penalties

Each of the penalties indicated in this chapter is the maximum prescribed by legislation for a first offence, if the matter proceeds to court. Each offence applicable to cyclists, skaters or pedestrians can also be dealt with by a traffic infringement notice (an on-the-spot fine) as per Part 7 of the RS General Regulations.

For relevant information, see Chapter 6.8: Driving offences, and Chapter 3.1: Fines and infringements.

Penalty units

For the period 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023, one penalty unit (pu) equals $184.92 under Victorian state law. For more information, see the Department of Justice’s website.

Schedule 7 of the RS General Regulations states that for many bicycle offences, the fine is between 1–3 pu.

However, on-the-spot fines (also known as infringement penalties) for failing to obey traffic lights or stop or give way signs are the same for cyclists as they are for motorists (that is, 2.5 pu for failing to obey traffic lights, and 2 pu for failing to obey stop or give way signs).

On-the-spot fines for most pedestrian (and hence, skater) offences are 0.5 pu.

Who and what do the Road Rules cover?

The Road Rules (RR) define various words in the dictionary at the end of the Road Rules (‘RR dictionary’). The definitions below are from this dictionary.


A ‘bicycle’ is included in the definition of ‘vehicle’ in Road Rule 15 and is defined in the RR dictionary as:

a vehicle with two or more wheels that is built to be propelled partly or wholly by human power through a belt, chain or gears (whether or not it has an auxiliary motor), and:

a. includes a pedicab, penny-farthing and tricycle; and

b. includes a power-assisted pedal cycle within the meaning of vehicle standards, as amended from time to time, determined under section 7 of the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 (Cth); but

c. does not include an electric personal transporter, an electric scooter, a scooter, wheelchair, wheeled recreational device, wheeled toy, or any vehicle with an auxiliary motor capable of generating a power output over 200 watts (whether or not the motor is operating), other than a vehicle referred to in paragraph (b)).

Electric bicycles

A ‘power-assisted pedal cycle’ is defined in the Vehicle Standard (Australian Design Rule – Definitions and Vehicle Categories) 2005 (Cth) (‘Vehicle Standard’). Clause 4.2.2 of the Vehicle Standard sets out the vehicle category of ‘Power-assisted pedal cycle AB’.

The Vehicle Standard lists two types of legal motorised bicycle (i.e. e-bikes):

  1. A bicycle with one or more auxiliary electric motors that has a combined maximum power output not exceeding 200 watts.
  2. A bicycle certified as a ‘Pedalec’. This means that the bicycle is compliant with the European Committee for Standardization (EN 15194:2009 or EN 15194:2009+A1:2011 Cycles – Electrically power-assisted cycles – EPAC Bicycles). To be compliant, a bicycle’s auxiliary motor must produce no more than 250 watts of continuous power that can only be accessed by pedalling. The bicycle’s maximum power-assisted pedalling speed must not exceed 25 kilometres per hour, and the power cuts out above this speed.

Any bicycle that does not require pedalling to operate, or does not meet the requirements of one of the two types of legal e-bike outlined above, is considered to be a motor cycle.

Electric scooters

Since November 2021, the definition of ‘vehicle’ in the Road Rules has included electric scooters. A new ‘Division 2: Additional rules for riders of electric scooters’ has been added to Part 15 of the Road Rules; this sets out the rules for riding electric scooters.

The Road Rules (RR 99(1)) define electric scooters thus:

[An] “electric scooter” means a vehicle designed for use by one person that—

transports a person while the person is standing; and

has two wheels (one in front of the other); and

has a footboard between the front and rear wheels; and

is steered by means of a handlebar; and

has a maximum speed capability of 20 kilometres per hour when ridden on level ground; and

can be propelled by one or both of the following

i one or more electric motors;

ii a person pushing one foot against the ground;

Under the RS Act, a person operating an electric scooter is defined as a ‘rider’. A person walking beside and pushing an electric scooter is not a rider for the purposes of the RS Act (s 17(2)).

An electric scooter must not be ridden on a road or a road-related area (which includes a footpath or nature strip, as per RR 13 – see below) unless the area is in an ‘electric scooter use area’ (RR 262A; 3 pu). This is defined in the RR dictionary as being a specified part of the state referred to in a declaration made under section 3(2)(b) of the RS Act that declares that an electric scooter provided under a commercially operated share scheme and ridden on a road or a road-related area within an electric scooter use area is not a motor vehicle for the purposes of specified provisions of the RS Act.   

A rider of an electric scooter must also not ride it on a road or a road-related area unless the electric scooter is provided under a ‘commercially operated share scheme’ (RR 262B), which is defined in the RR dictionary as ‘a joint arrangement between a council and a commercial operator to provide electric scooters for hire on a short-term basis to members of the public’. Private electric scooters are otherwise prohibited from use on roads and road-related areas.

The areas that currently operate a commercial scooter service are listed on the VicRoads website.

Other prohibitions on riding electric scooters include:

  • riding on footpaths, other than separated or shared footpaths (RR 262C);
  • riding on any road with a speed limit of 50 kilometers per hour or more, unless one of the exceptions apply, such as to cross the road by the shortest safe route (RR 262D);
  • riding on a road or a road-related area by any person under 18 years of age (RR 262F);
  • riding above 20 kilometers per hour (RR 262G);
  • riding with more than one person on the scooter (RR 262H).

A penalty of up to 3 pu applies for any of these offences. Further, you must not consume alcohol while riding an electric scooter on a road or a road-related area (RR 262I; 5 pu).

Unlike cyclists, riders of electric scooters cannot ride side-by-side on a road or road-related area, unless they are overtaking (RR 262E; 3 pu).

Wheeled recreation devices

The definition of a ‘wheeled recreation device’ is:

[a] wheeled device, built to transport a person, propelled by human power or gravity (or in the case of a scooter, propelled by a person pushing one foot against the ground, or by an electric motor or motors, or by a combination of these) and ordinarily used for recreation or play.

Wheeled recreation devices include rollerblades, rollerskates, skateboards, scooters (other than electric scooters) that are not motor vehicles, and similar wheeled devices.

Wheeled recreation devices do not include golf buggies, prams, strollers, trolleys, bicycles, electric personal transporters, wheelchairs, wheeled toys, or scooters (including electric scooters) that are motor vehicles.

People riding wheeled recreation devices are considered to be pedestrians (RR 18). For some rules relating to pedestrians, see ‘Riding on paths and in bicycle lanes’, below.

The riders of scooters, although considered to be riding wheeled recreation devices, have been singled out for greater regulation.


A ‘cyclist’ is not defined in the Road Rules but is included within the definition of ‘rider’: a ‘person who is riding a motorbike, bicycle, animal or animal-drawn vehicle’ (RR 17(1)).

This does not include a passenger or a person walking beside and pushing a bicycle (RR 17(2)).

Riders and riding

Road Rule 19 states that all references to ‘driver’ and ‘driving’ in the Road Rules include a reference to ‘rider’ and ‘riding’, unless otherwise stated. 

Therefore, cyclists are subject to the general Road Rules that govern all traffic on the road and, in particular, to the rules governing speed limits, pedestrians and traffic control devices (e.g. signs and signals).

Several rules dealing specifically with bicycles and their riders are set out in Part 15 of the Road Rules.

Roads and road-related areas: Definitions

The Road Rules apply to vehicles and road users on roads and road-related areas (RR 11). However, these terms are quite broadly defined.

Road user

‘Road user’ is defined to include a rider (RR 14).


The definition of a ‘road’ (RR 12) is:

an area that is open to or used by the public and is developed for, or has as one of its main uses, the driving or riding of motor vehicles [or any area declared under the Road Safety Act].


The ‘road’ does not include the ‘shoulder’ (RR 12(3)), which is:

an area (not being part of the road) adjoining the road that is open to or used by the public for driving, riding or parking motor vehicles and to which a parking control sign does not apply.

Road-related area

A ‘road-related area’ includes footpaths, nature strips, and areas that divide roads. Road-related areas also include areas that, while not roads, are open to the public and are designated for use by cyclists or animals, or are used by the public for driving, riding or parking motor vehicles (RR 13).

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