Cycling for children: can kids cycle on the footpath?
11 February, 2020
The footpath is not an ideal riding lane and it’s actually illegal for adults to ride on the footpath in most Australian states. However, it is allowed for children under 12 and their accompanying guardian.
It's much safer to have the kids cycle on the footpath with you rather than out on the road. And with a great quality kids bikes, little ones can explore anywhere. Vintage kids bikes are great for riding in style, while kids mountain bikes allow versatility - perfect for riding to school and exploring with parents on the weekend.
Below are a few tips to help you and your child navigate the hazards of the footpath a little better:
Always ensure you and your child are wearing correctly fitted helmets that fulfill or even exceed the Australian Safety Standard. For better control and confidence, it's important the bike fits your child properly. For more information you can take a look at our comprehensive size guide.
Communication is Key
Before you ride on the footpath with children, let them know what the rules will be and how you will communicate them. They need to stop when you say stop, look left and right at road crossings, move onto the grass when you ask them to or if someone is coming, and not go until you tell them they can go.
Pedestrians have right of way on footpaths, so make sure you give way to them. Slow down and make sure they know you are there, either by ringing your bell or by calling “passing” as you slowly overtake them.
Beware of Driveways
Scan ahead for cars backing out of driveways. Whilst you could ring your bell to alert them of your existence, they probably won’t hear you with an engine going. Slow right down and stop if you think they haven’t seen you.
Who Has Right of Way?
When crossing the side street, you do have right of way as a footpath user. However, cars may not be aware of this so be prepared to stop for turning vehicles. Stop, dismount, and walk across the road in the early days of learning to ride. Once you think your child is better at scanning for traffic, you can try to cross without dismounting.
When riding with children, keep close behind them so that you can talk them through what to do and monitor their ride. There is no need to hurry them along. Instead, help them develop their reaction and braking skills.
Practice Makes Perfect
Depending on the State you live in, your child may need to ride on the road from the age of twelve, so from ten years of age start practicing riding on the road.
Our great range of kids bikes cater for children aged 4-13. You can check it out here >>