Keeping kids safe: Bike and road safety essentials

Cadel Evans touches on bike equipment safety and being observant on and around roads.

Bike riding is the perfect activity for kids. It’s lots of fun, it’s great exercise and it’s something that the whole family can enjoy together.

But like any physical activity it does come with risks, especially when riding on the road. Just like motorists, bike riders of all ages need to follow the road rules and share the road responsibly.

So what’s the best way to educate our children on safe biking and road use? One of the most important things we can do is to set a good example. By following the road rules and modelling safe bike behaviour, we can teach our children what’s right and wrong when riding.

To help you brush up on your bike safety skills, here’s a checklist to follow.

The right equipment

Before either you or your child get on a bike, always make sure to:

  • Wear an Australian Standard bike helmet that fits well and is fastened correctly.
  • Wear enclosed shoes and bright colored clothing. This will make it easier for motorists to see you.
  • Keep your bike in good working order. Check your brakes, tyres and quick release wheels each time before you ride.
  • Check your bike has a working bell or horn that you can use to warn other riders and pedestrians.
  • If you’re riding at night, check your bike has working front and rear lights, as well as reflectors.

“Understanding bike and road safety is life-saving skill, so make sure your kids get plenty of time to learn and practice.”

Riding on paths

Children under 12 years of age and their supervising adults are legally allowed to ride on the footpath. But remember, footpaths are made for people to walk on, so you need to be careful and courteous when riding.

  • Make sure both you and your child always:
  • Keep left and give way to pedestrians on the path.
  • Ride at a safe and manageable speed.
  • Use your bell or call out to let others know that you’re approaching.
  • Check over your shoulder and behind you before turning a corner.
  • Ride in single file so other people can pass you if needed.
  • When you come to a road, stop, hop off and walk your bike across when it is safe to do so. Try to use pedestrian crossings when you can.
  • Be alert and keep watch for cars that are coming in and out of driveways.
  • Keep an eye out for other hazards, such as fallen branches, potholes, broken glass or dogs off their leash.
  • “Always use the safest route. Try to use cycle paths when you can and avoid heavy traffic areas.”

Riding on roads

Bike riders who are 12 years or older must use designated bicycle paths or ride on the road. When you and your child are riding on the road, make sure you always:

  • Obey all road rules, road signs and traffic lights.
  • Ride in a straight line about one metre out from the kerb or any parked cars.
  • Keep both hands on the handlebars, except when signalling turns.
  • Before you turn a corner, check behind you and hold your arm out to signal which direction you’re turning.
  • Look ahead and keep watch for any potential hazards.
  • Keep a safe distance behind cars so motorists can see you in their mirrors.
  • Never ride more than two abreast. That means no more than two people riding side by side.
  • Use the safest route. Try to use cycle paths when you can and avoid heavy traffic areas.

Understanding bike and road safety is life-saving skill, so make sure your kids get plenty of time to learn and practice. That way, both you and your child can feel confident when the time comes for them go out and enjoy a ride on their own.

Find more kid-friendly bike and road safety tips.

Keep reading about the benefits of bike riding for kids and what you need to know. Share your favourite bike memory for the chance to win a balance bike for your child!

Recommended reading - Warm up recipe guide

Recipes

Chai spiced almond milk recipe

A soothing wintry beverage, with just the right blend of spices.

Read more
Recipes

Baked Pumpkin, Chickpea and Brown Rice Salad with Crispy Pumpkin Seeds recipe

A comforting winter salad, with an invigorating blend of textures and flavours

Read more
Recipes

Pink snapper and potato cakes with salsa verde recipe

Deliciously light and full of succulent flavour – this is not your average fish and chip shop feast

Read more
Recipes

Coconut roasted pumpkin and apple soup recipe

A hearty, belly-warming soup to rejuvenate and nourish

Read more
Recipes

Quinoa, berry and yoghurt porridge recipe

Blend up a revitalising morning feast – this porridge is bursting with flavour and goodness

Read more
Recipes

Stuffed breakfast mushrooms recipe

Start your day out right with this filling, flavoursome breakfast.

Read more
Recipes

Pear crumble tea cake recipe

The classic tea cake gets a fresh makeover from Thoroughly Nourished Life

Read more
Recipes

Pecan, buckwheat, coconut and date granola recipe

Superfoods ahoy! This refreshing, crunchy blend is one sure way to get your morning fired up

Read more
Recipes

Vegetarian laksa recipe

Fill up on colourful winter veggies in a light, creamy laksa

Read more
Recipes

Porcini mushroom and kale buckwheat risotto recipe

A creamy, comforting risotto, full of the flavoursome goodness of mushrooms

Read more
Recipes

Warm coconut and caramel pudding recipe

A soft, wholesome pudding overflowing with natural caramel – now that's our kind of dessert

Read more
Recipes

Chipotle sweet potato soup with black bean salsa

This spicy, fragrant sweet potato soup will banish any thought of the winter chills.

Read more
Recipes

Minty lemon and banana hot cakes recipe

What Sunday mornings were made for – luscious, wholesome pancakes, with the perfect amount of zest

Read more
Recipes

Ultimate roasted vegetables recipe

Roast those root veggies with the perfect infusion of herbs and spices

Read more
Recipes

Peach cobbler recipe

Savour the sweetness of this scrumptious, fruity treat

Read more
Recipes

Goji and coconut bliss balls recipe

Bliss out on the super-goodness of these delectable treats

Read more
Recipes

Mushrooms and feta on toast recipe

Wake up to the succulent flavours of crumbly feta, fresh greens, and sautéed mushrooms

Read more
Recipes

Aromatic and spicy Indian lamb curry recipe

Fragrant spices, succulent lamb, and slow cooking at its most nourishing

Read more
Recipes

Quinoa chocolate cake recipe

Soft and succulent, this cake is a decadent delight. Trust us, nobody will guess it's quinoa

Read more
Recipes

Apple and oat pancakes recipe

Warm, oaty pancakes served with rich stewed apples – the perfect way to brighten up your weekend

Read more
Recipes

Shakshuka baked eggs recipe

Breakfast, lunch or dinner, this invigorating, spice-infused dish is a warming feast

Read more
Recipes

Ginger coconut black rice pudding with roasted rhubarb recipe

A vibrant, fruity dessert with a twist of Indonesian flavour

Read more
Recipes

Curried cauliflower soup with toasted chickpeas recipe

The nutty goodness of chickpeas takes this creamy soup to delicious new levels

Read more
Recipes

Winter turmeric elixir recipe

Feel strong and vibrant this winter with a powerful, gingery mix

Read more
Recipes

Bean and chorizo soup

A smoky, beany soup to warm up the coldest winter's day.

Read more

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.