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Driveway safety
A Parent’s Guide to
Kidsafe Roads
Driveway safety
Injuries are the leading cause of death1, 2 in Australian children aged one to fourteen,
accounting for nearly half of all deaths in this age group. More children die from
injury than die from cancer, asthma and infectious diseases combined.1, 2
Each year about 200 Australian children
(aged 0-14 years) die2 and 59,000 hospitalised3 as a result of unintentional injuries – the
In 2009-10, Transport injuries claimed
the lives2 of:
kind often referred to as ‘accidents‘. Many of
these can be prevented.
22 children aged 0 - 4 years, and
34 children aged 5 - 14 years.
In Australia, Transport injuries are the most
In addition:
common cause of child injury death2 and
second most common cause of injury related
hospital admission for children aged 0 to 14
843 children aged 0 - 4 years, and
6,193 children aged 5 - 14 years
were admitted to hospital3 for treatment
following transport injuries in 2012-13.
The good news is that you can reduce the
risk of road trauma for children.
A Parent’s Guide to Kidsafe Roads describes
some simple steps parents/ carers can take
to help make children safer road users.
A Parent’s Guide to Kidsafe Roads
is a publication of the Child Accident
Prevention Foundation of Australia (Kidsafe).
For detailed information on each of the
topics presented in this booklet visit to find your local
Kidsafe State/Territory website.
The information contained in this booklet is derived from child
injury data and consultation with Kidsafe professional advisers.
The information is a guide only and does not override State,
Territory or Federal regulations, standards or policies.
© Copyright 2016
Early editions were publications of Kidsafe Australia Publishing Pty Ltd First Edition 1995
Second Edition 2001
Third Edition 2004
Fourth Edition 2011
Fifth Edition 2016
ISBN 0 646 22754 8
Background .................................................................................................... 1
Safety at Home ................................................................................................ 2
Driveway safety ...................................................................................................... 3
Additional safety tips ......................................................................................... 5
Safety in the Car ................................................................................................... 6
Car safety tips ................................................................................................... 7
Child car restraints ............................................................................................ 9
Fitting a child restraint ..................................................................................... 13
Driver safety ......................................................................................................... 17
Hot cars .......................................................................................................... 19
Car safety checklist ......................................................................................... 21
Safety on the Road ....................................................................................... 22
Pedestrian safety.................................................................................................. 23
Small wheel devices ....................................................................................... 25
Bicycle safety........................................................................................................ 27
Further Information ...................................................................................... 31
Injuries are the leading cause of death1, 2 in Australian children aged one to fourteen,
accounting for nearly half of all deaths in this age group. More children die from
injury than die from cancer, asthma and infectious diseases combined.1, 2
Each year about 200 Australian children (aged 0-14 years) die2 and 59,000
hospitalised3 as a result of unintentional injuries – the kind often referred to as
‘accidents‘. Many of these can be prevented.
In Australia, transport injuries are the most common cause of child injury death2
and second most common cause of injury
related hospital admission for children
aged 0 to 14 years3.
In 2009-10, transport injuries claimed
the lives2 of:
• 22 children aged 0 - 4 years, and
• 34 children aged 5 - 14 years.
In addition:
• 843 children aged 0 - 4 years, and
• 6,193 children aged 5 - 14 years
were admitted to hospital3 for treatment following transport injuries in 2012-13.
The good news is that you can reduce the risk of road trauma for children.
A Parent’s Guide to Kidsafe Roads describes some simple steps parents/carers
can take to help make children safer road users.
For detailed information on each of the topics presented in this booklet visit to find your local Kidsafe State/Territory website.
1 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2012. A picture of Australia’s children 2012. Cat. no. PHE 167. Canberra: AIHW
2 AIHW: Henley G & Harrison JE 2015. Trends in injury deaths, Australia: 1999–00 to 2009–10. Injury research and statistics
series no. 74. Cat. no. INJCAT 150. Canberra: AIHW.
3 AIHW: Pointer S 2015. Trends in hospitalised injury, Australia: 1999–00 to 2012–13. Injury research and statistics series
no. 95. Cat. no. INJCAT 171. Canberra: AIHW
Safety at Home
Driveway safety
Three children are unintentionally run over every week in Australia - mostly in the
driveway of their own home. While four wheel drives and SUV‘s feature commonly
in reversing incidents, many popular family sedans are also involved. All vehicles
have blind spots, some extending back as far as 15 metres*.
Why are children at risk in the driveway:
• Young children are naturally inquisitive, move surprisingly fast, and can run into the
path of a moving vehicle without warning.
• In the time it takes for the driver to say goodbye and start the car, a child can move
from a ‘safe’ position, onto the driveway, and into the path of the vehicle.
• Small children, can be impossible to see from inside a car, especially if they are directly
behind it. The rear visibility of a number of popular cars has been tested and results show
that there is a large ‘blind space’ behind most cars, particularly when reversing.
children are
run over
every week in
* Information & image courtesy of Kidsafe Queensland Driveway Safety Project & SGIO Reversing Visibility Index.
Safety steps to prevent driveway run overs
• Always supervise your children.
• When near cars, hold their hand or hold
them close to keep them safe.
• If you are the only adult at home and need to
move a vehicle, even only a small distance,
place your child securely in the vehicle with
you while you move it.
• Don’t let your children use the driveway
as a play area.
• Create safe play areas for your children
by fencing off the driveway from play areas.
• Make access to the driveway from the
house difficult for your children by using
security doors, fencing or gates.
• Drivers should walk around their
vehicle before moving it.
• Even if your car has parking sensors or
a reversing camera fitted, you may not
notice a small child until it is too late to stop.
• Wave goodbye from a safe place not in the driveway.
Additional safety tips
Additional safety considerations
around the home:
Never let
• Know where your children are at all times.
children play near
• Never let children play near the road or in
the driveway. Create safe play areas around
homes and on farms by fencing off a play
area away from the road and driveway.
the road
• Never leave keys in vehicles. If on a
farm, this includes farm vehicles and
farm machinery.
• Never leave the car motor running.
• Ensure vehicles are locked and secured
before leaving them.
• Never leave children alone in vehicles, even
if they are asleep and you can see them.
or in the driveway
Safety in the Car
Car safety tips
Buckle up
Ensure you teach children about the
importance of buckling-up on every trip.
Airbags are designed to protect adults in
a crash; they deploy at high speeds to the
chest height of an average adult, and can
be dangerous to children.
• Adults should ‘model’ correct buckling-up
• Do not start the car until everyone
is buckled up correctly.
• Children should be instructed that they are
not to undo their seat belts until you say so.
• Watch out for children trying to help you
by undoing restraints for their baby brother
or sister.
• Never allow children to share a seat belt.
• Never hold a child on your lap whilst
travelling in a motor vehicle; this is
against the law and unsafe.
Kidsafe recommends that:
• Children under 12 years of age should not
sit in the front seat, especially where there
is an airbag.
• Rear facing child restraints are not placed
in the front passenger seat of vehicles fitted
with an airbag. (It is also against the law for
vehicles with two or more rows of seats).
Refer to your vehicle owner’s manual for
further information on the airbags in your
vehicle, and whether they impact on the
safety of children or the position of child
Children under
12 years of age
should not
sit in the front seat
Cargo space or open load
It is illegal to ride in the cargo space of
vehicles such as utilities, vans and trucks.
Loose objects become dangerous missiles
in a crash, striking with up to 20 times their
own force.
• Vehicles with cargo areas that open directly
into passenger space or that have a back seat
which can fold down, are particularly risky.
• Keep the back shelf under the rear window
free of loose articles, even tissue boxes.
• Install a cargo barrier or use the cargo
blind/curtain provided in station wagons,
hatchbacks, four-wheel drives and
panel vans.
• Ensure luggage such
as prams and groceries
are carefully packed in the
boot space so it is evenly distributed
across the width of the cargo area,
close to the seatback.
• Don’t pack luggage higher than
the back of the seat.
• Only cargo barriers approved to Australian/
New Zealand Standard should be used and
installed by an approved fitter.
Child car restraints
Which restraint do I use?
• An approved child car restraint meets the mandatory requirements of the Australian/
New Zealand Standard (AS/NZS 1754) for child restraints. Restraints complying with
this standard will carry an AS/NZS compliance sticker.
• Restraints purchased in other countries do not meet the Australian/New Zealand Standard,
and are illegal to use in Australia.
• Restraints complying with AS/NZS 1754 manufactured before 2011 use weight limits
as guides for use.
• From 2011 onward, restraints use seated height of the child as the guide for usage –
height markers on the restraints will guide correct usage.
• Always refer to and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your restraint.
• Always check the age and history of older and second hand restraints. They should be less
than 10 years old and have never been involved in a crash.
Always use your child car restraint until the child has reached its maximum size limits
before progressing to the next type of restraint. It is important that you follow the
manufacturer’s instructions for your particular child car restraint when deciding when to
move your child to the next stage.
For the latest information on child passenger requirements contact your local
Kidsafe state/territory office by visiting Access the “Best
Practice Guidelines for the Safe Restraint of Children Travelling in Motor Vehicles”,
or view our Passenger Safety Animation.
Children under 6 months of age
Must use an approved child restraint that is:
• Rearward facing
• Properly fitted to the vehicle
• Adjusted to fit the child’s body correctly
Children under 6 months of age are not permitted in the front seat
of a vehicle that has two or more rows of seats.
Kidsafe recommends:
Keep your baby in a rearward facing child restraint until they
outgrow it. This will be when they have reached the maximum
size limits (length/weight) and can sit unaided.
Child car restraints (continued)
Children 6 months to 4 years of age
Must use either an approved:
• Rearward facing child restraint, OR
• Forward facing child restraint with an inbuilt harness
• Properly fitted to the vehicle
• Adjusted to fit the child’s body correctly
Children under 4 years of age must not travel in the front seat of a vehicle that has
two or more rows of seats.
Kidsafe recommends:
Keep your child in a child restraint with an inbuilt harness until the child reaches
the maximum size limit (height/weight) of the restraint. Extended rearward facing
options are now available on some convertible restraints which have the ability to
take a child rearward facing up to 2-3 years (30 months) of age.
Rearward Facing
Forward Facing
Children 4 to 7 years of age
Must use either an approved:
• Forward facing child restraint with an inbuilt harness, OR
• Booster seat with a properly fastened and adjusted adult seatbelt or accessory child harness.
Children aged 4 to 7 years must not travel in the front seat of a vehicle that has
two or more rows of seats unless all the back seats are occupied by other children
who are also under 7 years.
Kidsafe recommends:
Keep children in the most appropriate restraint until they reach the maximum size limit
(height/weight). If your child is over 7 years of age and still fits in a child restraint/booster seat,
keep using it.
New restraint models are now available with inbuilt harnesses to accommodate children up to
approximately 8 years and booster seats that accommodate children up to approximately 10
Inbuilt Harness
Adult Seatbelt
Fitting a child restraint
A correctly fitted child car restraint, appropriate for the child’s age and size, can reduce
the risk of serious injury or death in road crashes. Make sure you have your child restraint
fitted BEFORE the due date of your child’s birth.
Child restraint upper tether
anchorage points
Locate the child restraint upper tether
anchorage point using your vehicle owner’s
manual. The anchorage point should be
directly behind and central to the seating
position. Anchorage points can generally
be found in the following locations:
• Sedans – on the rear shelf
• Hatchbacks – inside the tailgate, or on
the floor and behind the seat, or on the
seat back.
• Station wagons – in the roof, on the floor
behind the seat, or on the seat back.
• Four wheel drives – in the roof, on the floor
behind the seat, or on the seat back.
If your vehicle is NOT fitted with anchorage
points, DO NOT consider making any
modifications to your vehicle on your own.
Any after market modifications should be
installed by an authorised person, who will
then supply you with a modification permit.
Contact your local transport authority for
further information.
Anchorage bolts
An anchor bolt kit comes with each new
restraint but is generally missing from
second hand restraints. These kits can be
purchased separately if you need one.
Install the anchor bolt and fitting, following the
instructions in your vehicle owner’s manual if
one is required.
The current hook clip attachment system
was introduced in 1993. Child restraints with
a keyhole attachment are now more than
20 years old and should no longer be used.
Some vehicles also have integrated
manufacturer supplied anchorages
already fitted into your vehicle and
require no additional parts.
Check your vehicle owner’s manual to find
out where your anchorage points are located.
ISOFIX Lower Anchorages
Some vehicles will be fitted with lower anchorage points
or ISOFIX attachment systems. Check your vehicle owner’s manual to find out whether
your vehicle is fitted with ISOFIX points and which seating positions they are provided for.
ISOFIX is an alternative way to attach your child car restraint to the vehicle instead of using
the vehicle seatbelt. Generally ISOFIX points are only available in the outboard seating
positions in the middle row of seats, however some vehicles will have them in other positions.
ISOFIX has been used internationally for attaching child car restraints to vehicles for many
The 2013 revision of the Australian Standards for Child Restraint Systems (AS/NZS1754:2013)
included a provision for child car restraints suitable for children up to approximately 4 years
of age to be installed using ISOFIX attachments systems or the adult seatbelt.
Any restraint installed using ISOFIX attachment systems must still use the upper tether
anchorage attachment as well.
For further information on ISOFIX compatible restraints and vehicles contact
your local Kidsafe centre.
Fitting a child restraint (continued)
Fitting the restraint
Always read the restraint instruction booklet carefully when installing the restraint.
Keep the instructions with the restraint in the pouch provided in case you need to
refit the restraint or adjust the harnessing.
Incorrectly or inappropriately restrained children remain at greater risk of serious injury
in a motor vehicle collision.
Common mistakes:
• Seatbelts: not connected at all, incorrect pathway used, damaged or twisted.
• Harnessing: incorrectly fitted (too loose) or incorrectly adjusted.
• Top tether straps: not connected, not central to seating position used.
• Anchorage assembly: incorrect components or assembly; misidentification of anchorage
points leading to attachment to things other than the child car restraint anchor point.
• ISOFIX attachment not secured correctly, installed in addition to adult seatbelt,
or installed in incorrect seating position.
• Incorrect installation can lead to increased risk of injury and increased severity of injury.
Contact your local Kidsafe state/territory office for a list of authorised child car
restraint fitters close to you. Some Kidsafe Centres offer this service themselves.
Preferred position
Destroy child restraints after a crash
Children 12 years and under should always
be seated in the rear seats of a motor
The Australian Standard requires that where
a child car restraint is involved in a severe
crash where the main body structure of the
car is damaged, the child restraint should
be destroyed, even if there is no obvious
damage and the child wasn’t using the
restraint at the time.
Kidsafe and other road safety experts
recommend that children travel in the rear
centre position as the preferred option where
possible. This position offers better protection
in side impact crashes.
In some vehicles, and once you have to
transport more than one child, it may not
be possible to position a child restraint in
the centre rear seat position due to:
Check with your vehicle insurer to find out
if your policy covers replacement of child
restraints after a crash.
• No anchorage point because the rear seat
folds down in a 50/50 split.
• The seat has a raised centre hump.
• Interference of the driver’s seat on rearward
facing child restraints.
In these cases, the rear left passenger side
is the most suitable option as this is usually
the off-road/footpath side of the car.
Road safety experts
recommend that children travel in the
rear centre position
Driver safety
Drive carefully and take regular breaks as many crashes are the result of driver fatigue.
Rest stops help restore concentration and beat drowsiness.
Driver vision
Driver distraction
Drivers need to have full vision at all times.
Don’t let your children’s behaviour distract you.
• Sunblinds and tinted films that are used
to protect your child from glare are only
allowed on the rear and side windows and
must allow ample light transmission.
• If troublesome, keep them occupied by
talking or singing to them and/or provide
soft toys to play with.
• Make sure all sunblinds are securely
fastened and can’t distract you.
• Never use a nappy/towel in the side windows
because it will block the driver’s view.
• Window signs, such as ‘Child on Board’
should be out of the line of sight.
• On long trips provide drinks that can’t
spill and healthy snack foods.
• Take regular breaks on long drives to
allow everyone to stretch their legs.
Most vehicle passenger injuries suffered by young children happen during
short trips when there is a tendency to not properly restrain children.
Preventing tears when restraining children safely*
• Explain the rules as you place the child
into the car seat: do it every time you get
into the car so your child understands that
the rules are always the same - be a good
role model and make sure you always
buckle up too!
• Praise and encourage the child for
keeping the harness or seatbelt on:
reward good behaviour with lots of attention.
• Don’t use punishment: smacks or
cross words will often make a child more
frightened, more stubborn and less able
to listen to reason. It is better to ignore
tears or tantrums, however difficult this
seems at the time.
• Make sure the child can see you: place
the car seat where you can see each other,
a child who can see your face is less likely
to get bored or feel lonely.
• Don’t drive unless the seatbelt or harness
is done up: if the child removes the straps or
undoes the buckle, stop the car and
re-do the belt, explaining what you are
doing. Never drive while the belt is undone
or twisted.
• Keep checking: check unobtrusively to see
if the belt is still on throughout the journey.
Don’t ask the child as this suggests that
you don’t expect it to be.
• Choose the right time to start: the best
time to begin setting a new routine is when
you don’t have to go somewhere in a hurry.
*Adapted from – Seatbelts without Tears‖ by the Motor Accident Authority, Roads and Traffic Authority of NSW and NSW Health.
Hot cars
Leaving children unattended in the car, even for a short time, can be FATAL.
In most states & territories in Australia it is also against the law to leave children
unattended in a motor vehicle.
Children do not tolerate heat as well as
adults. Their smaller body size & greater
surface area means they feel the effects of
heat much more rapidly.
On a typical Australian summer day, the
temperature inside a parked car can be
as much as 30° higher than the outside
temperature, i.e. on a 30°C day, the
temperature inside the car could be as
high as 60°C.
75%4 of the temperature rise occurs within
5 minutes of closing the car and leaving it.
Young children are at risk of dehydration,
heatstroke, hyperthermia, and asphyxia.
Hyperthermia, dehydration and asphyxia
can all lead to death. NEVER leave children
unattended in the car.
Safety Steps:
• If you have to leave the car, even to run
a quick errand; take the children with you.
• Do not use the car as a substitute
• Try to do jobs when your children are not
with you, such as putting fuel in the car.
• Look for service stations which offer pay
at the pump services so you can avoid the
temptation to leave children in the car.
4 Kidsafe Australia. ‘The Unconventional Oven’ [Internet]. December 2015. Available from:
Safety when travelling in hot weather
• Provide plenty of cool fluids, preferably
water, for all occupants and offer them
to children regularly.
• This includes removing the baby from the
capsule or restraint, and allowing the baby
to roll around on a rug on the ground.
• Dress children suitably to promote airflow
around their bodies i.e. if the car does not
have air conditioning, dress the children in
clothing made of lightweight fabric and light
in colour.
• When getting back into the car, recheck
the fit of the children’s harnesses.
• Double check that the harness fits the child
– in summer time with children wearing
lightweight clothing, restraints and harnesses
may need to be tightened.
• Cool your car down as much as possible
before putting the child in the car.
• For rearward facing restraints, do not use a
hood to protect the baby from the sun.
This will decrease airflow around the baby’s
• Plan car journeys for the cooler hours
of the day.
• Where possible, when stopping or parking
your car, put it undercover or in the shade
to reduce the amount of direct sunlight
hitting your car.
Instead use a visor or sunshade to filter
the sun’s rays.
• Make frequent stops, at least every
2 hours, so that all occupants can
get out of the car for exercise.
Car safety checklist
• Check the restraint complies with the
Australian Standard (AS/NZS 1754).
• Ensure vehicle seatbelts used to
secure a child restraint are done up.
• Use the centre rear position where possible.
• Ensure all passengers in the car use
their restraint or seatbelt. As the driver
you are legally responsible.
• Check the fit of the restraint. It should suit
the child’s age and size.
• Check the harness. It should fit snugly.
Straps should be adjusted so they are
firm around the child’s body.
• Ensure that restraints are correctly
installed and maintained.
• Ensure child safety locks are activated
on vehicle doors.
• Always unwrap babies before placing
them in a child restraint.
Safety on the Road
Pedestrian safety
Walking is an important part of children’s lives. It is important for their health and fitness,
and their ability to get around their neighbourhood and community independently.
Being a pedestrian can be a risky business, especially for children in busy cities. Roads are
designed with adults in mind, but children are not ‘little adults’. They are less well developed
physically, cognitively and in terms of their traffic experience.
Here are some guidelines to help keep children safe as pedestrians at different ages:
Up to 5 years old
• Separate play areas from cars. If possible,
fence your child’s play area off from
driveways and the street. If this is not
possible, help children choose safe places
to play away from cars and driveways,
and supervise them closely.
• Always walk right around your car before
reversing out. Have everyone else using
your driveway do the same.
• Always be with your child. They are too
young to cope alone.
• Hold your child’s hand when you are
near traffic.
• Set a good example. Explain what you are
doing when you cross the road together.
• Make sure they get in and out of cars
on the kerb side (safety door).
• Ask your preschool if they teach road safety
and what safety measures are in place.
Stop, Look, Listen and Think
From 5 to 9 years old
• Supervise your child at all times near
traffic, particularly when crossing roads.
• Teach your child how to cross roads
safely. Children must first stop at the
kerb. Then they need to look and listen for
traffic, wait for vehicles to stop before
deciding if it is safe to cross. (‘STOP,
• Make the trip to school together along the
safest route and use safe crossing places
as an example for your child to follow.
• If you are unable to be there, arrange for
your child to be supervised on the way to
and from school, and during or after school
activities. Ask if your school has a walking
school bus program.
• Explain words like “fast”, “slow”, “near”
and “far”. Talk about signs and traffic lights
and the safe places to cross. Point out
dangerous places and where not to cross –
near curves and where things might
hide children from view.
• If you are picking children up from school,
have a safe meeting place, then cross the
street with them. Never call them over from
the opposite side of the street.
• Continue to make sure children get in
and out of cars on the kerb side.
• Ask at your child’s school what traffic
safety programmes are taught.
Small wheel devices
Skateboards, inline skates, roller skates,
ripsticks & micro-scooters
Falls are the most common cause of injury
when using small wheeled devices. There
have been reports of injuries resulting from
collisions with other people and objects. Most
falls are the result of simple loss of control.*
Identify safe and legal venues, which may be
on private property, or venues specifically set
aside for skating. Check with the local council
for skate parks in the area.
Safety is simple
• Avoid poorly made products.
• Use protective equipment, helmet
and wrist, elbow and knee guards.
• Learn to ride and practice in a safe place
such as a dual footpath away from roads,
driveways and slopes.
• Use in a safe manner. Pedestrians have
right of way so keep left and give way.
A skate centre offers a smooth scoot or
ride away from roads.
Check with your local roller drome or skate
centre to find out if they offer lessons.
Learning how to fall safely is critical in
reducing the risk of injury.
* Princess Margaret Hospital Injury Surveillance Data 2002 to 2011
Scooter checklist
Wrist guards
• Check the brakes and the locking
Wrist guards are designed to strengthen
the wrist to reduce the risk of serious
damage or broken bones. Serious injury
can happen quickly and easily.
• Check for sharp protrusions and edges.
• Make sure the steering column locks
easily and does not collapse or is too
short causing the rider to stoop.
• Handlebar grips must be secure
and not swivel.
A child losing their balance and putting out
their hand to break their fall is a common
occurrence, and broken wrists or arms are
the most frequent serious injury among
skateboard riders, roller bladers and
micro-scooter users.
• High ground clearance.
• Non slip foot-boards.
Knee and elbow guards
• Larger brake pads/ mudguard with
a larger area to press down on to
operate the brake.
These are designed to protect these
vulnerable parts of a child’s body that
research has shown are common points
of contact when children fall.
They are very important for skateboarding skateboarders and roller bladers commonly
land on their elbows and knees. This type
of fall is also likely to happen with microscooter users.
Bicycle safety
Most cycling injuries don’t involve another vehicle, but occur when children fall off their bike after
crashing into a pole, curb or fence. Head injuries are the main cause of death and disability to
cyclists. Bike helmets help reduce injury.
Every child needs a helmet even if they are not riding on the road or they are being supervised
by an adult (all helmets should meet AS/NZS 2063).
Helmet fit
To be effective a helmet has to be well fitting
and has to be used! Helmets should be worn
when cycling, skateboarding, rollerblading,
roller skating and using micro-scooters.
Children should be introduced to a helmet
when they first start to use ride-on toys.
• Measure the child’s head before purchasing
in order to select the correct size.
• The helmet should fit firmly on the head
with the chinstrap securely fastened.
• Do the push test once fastened. If the
helmet can be pushed back and forwards
then it won’t protect the front or the back
of the head in a fall. The helmet is too big.
Tips for safe cycling
• Make sure the bike fits: A bike that is
too big or small is a safety hazard.
How to check: have your child sit on
his/her bike; at least the toes should
touch the ground on both sides.
• Ensure supervised riding: Children under
age ten should cycle with responsible adults.
Most children in that age group do not have
the skills to cycle safely without
• Do equipment spot checks: Parents
• Learn the rules of the road: Make sure
should ensure their child’s bicycle is
equipped with safety devices such as
lights, reflectors and a bell or horn.
children are taught the rules of the road
for safe cycling practices before they are
allowed to ride by themselves.
• Be a role model: Set a good example
when cycling with your children and
wear a helmet too - it is required by law!
• Make bikes safer: Buy safe bicycles,
with spoke & chain guards; ensure bike
lamps are used at dusk or at night;
fit safety devices to bicycles such as
reflectors and safety flags.
• Know the dangers of the driveway:
Children should know the driveway is
dangerous and can pose a safety risk.
They should always stop before entering
the road, scan by looking in all directions,
listen & think about if it is safe to cross
the road. Do not encourage children to
ride their bikes in the driveway.
• Wear bright coloured clothing: Cyclists
should wear bright coloured clothing or
use a visibility vest so they stand out and
are easy to see.
Bicycle safety (continued)
More Tips for Safe Riding...
When is my child ready?
• For young cyclists, a footpath or shared
path is the best place to cycle, unless a no
bicycles sign is on display. In most states/
territories, the road rules allow children
under 12 to ride on footpaths, but remember
that driveways are dangerous.
Your child’s neck and back must be strong
enough to support their head and the extra
weight of a helmet while riding. They must
also be able to cope with the additional forces
experienced when speeding up, slowing
down and bouncing over bumps or potholes.
Kidsafe recommends against taking a child
under 12 months on a bike or in a bike trailer.
• Children should avoid riding on busy
streets and riding at night.
• Help children understand when it is
safe to cross the road.
• Teach children to walk their bikes when
crossing the street, crosswalk or railway
Riding with children as passengers
Kids’ bike seats and trailers that attach to a
parent’s bike provide easy transportation of
young children, while parents enjoy all the
benefits of riding.
By law, your child must wear a properly fitted
helmet when on a bike seat or in a trailer. In
the event of a crash, the helmet protects your
child’s head from impact with the ground and
the bike, bike seat or trailer frame.
The helmet must not force the child into
an uncomfortable position. If the helmet
forces the child’s head forward, they may
be too young.
Teach children to
walk their bikes
when crossing the street
Safety rules
• Ensure the seat or trailer is securely fixed to
the bike before putting the child in the seat.
If you are not sure, get a bike shop to install
the carrier.
• Make sure the bike is stable before putting
the child in, or taking them out of, a rear or
front mounted seat.
• Never leave a child unattended in a
bicycle-mounted child seat.
• Make sure the child wears a properly
fitting helmet and harness at all times.
• Ride conservatively to take account of the
longer braking distances and reduced
maneuverability due to the extra weight.
• Make sure you have full control of the bike
and child before riding in public areas. Test
ride before you take the bike into busy areas.
• Don’t use a baby backpack or sling while
riding your bike. These make you less stable
and, if you crash, the child has much further
to fall and you might fall on them.
• Always look for bike seats, carriers and
helmets that meet Australian Standards.
Further information
Contact the Kidsafe (Child Accident Prevention Foundation of Australia)
office in your State or Territory:
Kidsafe ACT
Building 2, Pearce Centre
Collett Place
Level 1, Gilbert Building
Women’s & Children’s Hospital
72 King William Road
Pearce ACT 2607
Telephone: (02) 6290 2244
Fax: (02) 6290 2241
Email: [email protected]
Fax: (08) 8161 6162
Email: [email protected]
Kidsafe House
C/- The Children’s Hospital at Westmead
Locked Bag 4001, Westmead NSW 2145
Telephone: (02) 9845 0890
Fax: (02) 9845 0895
Email: [email protected]
20 Lampton Avenue
Derwent Park
Glenorchy TAS 7010
Telephone: 0417 381 721
Email: [email protected]
1/9 Charlton Court
Woolner NT 0820
Telephone: (08) 8941 8234
Email: [email protected]
PO Box 1005
Collingwood VIC 3066
Telephone: (03) 9036 2306
Email: [email protected] au
140 Railway Parade
Kidsafe House
50 Bramston Terrace
Herston Qld 4029
Telephone: (07) 3854 1829
Fax: (07) 3252 7900
Email: [email protected]
North Adelaide SA 5006
Telephone: (08) 8161 6318
West Leederville WA 6007
Telephone: (08) 6244 4880
Email: [email protected]
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