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Bike passengers face $349 NSW Police fine for breaking this road rule

It has been proven time and time again that wearing a helmet when riding a bike saves lives and it is why it became a road rule.

However, it is a rule that isn’t just aimed at riders as anyone hopping on a bike as a passenger also needs to be wearing one once they set off on a journey.

Around Australia, there are some surprisingly big fines for any passenger found not riding with a helmet on.

Couple riding bikes on street. Source: Getty Images
Cyclists and passengers are expected to wear helmets when cycling. Source: Getty Images (xavierarnau via Getty Images)

Road rules protecting passengers

The law is pretty clear cut when it comes to what passengers need to do if they are going to ride on the back of a bicycle when on a public road.


This is because the second part of Rule 256 in the Australian Road Rules states that bike passengers must be wearing a helmet whenever a bike is moving on the roads.

It’s a compulsory item that is also expected to be worn when a bike is stationary on the road at a set of lights or in any situation where they are stationary but in active use.

Taking into consideration just how much protection they give riders and passengers, it is no surprise to see that it is a law that has been universally adopted by all Australian states.

Tandem cyclists riding past a hedge. Source: Getty Images
NSW Police can fine bike passengers $349 for not wearing a helmet. Source: Getty Images (Jade Brookbank via Getty Images)

Fines for ignoring safety

Helmets are seen as the main protection for cyclists on the road so it’s not surprising to learn that the police can fine anyone not wearing one on the roads – including passengers.

These fines are generally higher than standard cycling fines as they play a major role in keeping cyclists safe on the road. Any passengers not wearing helmets could face:

NSW: It’s a $349 fine for any passenger in New South Wales caught by NSW Police not wearing a helmet whilst out cycling on the road.

VIC: Passengers face a $227 fine from the Victorian authorities if they are caught not wearing a helmet when out on a bike.

QLD: Queensland Police can issue bicycle passengers with a fine of $137 if they catch them not wearing a helmet when out on a bike.

SA: In South Australia, the authorities will dish out a $205 fine to any bike passenger who isn’t wearing a helmet when riding on the roads.

WA: Western Australia has a fairly lenient stance on helmets as local police will only issue a $50 fine to anyone not wearing one when cycling on the roads.

TAS: Tasmania has double penalties for anyone not wearing helmets as passengers face a $43 fine for not wearing a helmet whilst the cyclist in control will be issued a $130 fine for carrying someone without a helmet.

Man cycling by the sea. Source: Getty Images
Some states can also punish cyclists for letting passengers ride without a helmet. Source: Getty Images (Westend61 via Getty Images)

ACT: In Canberra, passengers cycling and not wearing a helmet could find themselves copping a $154 fine from ACT Police.

It’s clear to see that the authorities place a big emphasis on cyclists wearing helmets and that passengers are just as liable as the person controlling the bike.

Therefore, it is a good idea to wear helmets regardless of whether or not you're a passenger on the bike while cycling to protect yourself and avoid earning a fine for breaking a very obvious road rule.

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