Young children need lots of assistance from adults to manage traffic and other road users. They need help in seeing traffic coming from different directions and judging the speed and distance of oncoming traffic. Children need to learn how to manage their own safety on the road so they can become safer road and bicycle users.
Helping children to be safe around traffic
Road safety skills are best learnt in real traffic conditions. Children learn by experience and by watching adults. You can assist by talking with your child as you ride. Ask questions about roads, signs, traffic, and how and where you can ride safely.
Allow your child to practice cycling in parks or on the footpaths and offer tips on how to ride safely. Children need to develop the skills to be able to ride in a straight line, brake properly and turn corners safely.
Ride in designated areas such as bicycle paths when possible. By law, children under 12 years of age can ride on the footpath, and adults can too when they are supervising them.
What you can do when you ride with your child:
- Talk with your child about the traffic environment.
- Explain what you are doing, seeing, thinking and when it is safe.
- Always be a good role model for your child by obeying road rules.
- Involve your child in choosing safe places to ride and pre-plan a route.
- Make sure your child always rides on the footpath or a bicycle path with adult supervision.
- Make sure that your child wears an approved Australian Standards helmet which is properly fitted when riding a bike.
- If your child is older than 12 years old and is riding on the road, make sure he/she is wearing brightly coloured clothes and is easily seen. If riding in the evening, make sure they have working lights so drivers can see them.