Riding & walking
Playing, riding and walking safely
Children are small, fast and unpredictable. They’re more likely to be injured close to home, often in their own street or driveway. Even at home, a responsible adult needs to watch young children carefully as they can move quickly, especially when they're unsupervised.
Keep messages simple and clear when talking to children about road safety.
Make some family rules about playing safely away from roads, car parks, footpaths and driveways. Talk about these rules with your children and then stick to them every time they play outside, use bikes, trikes or scooters.
How to keep kids playing safely
Help kids understand how to play safely with these messages.
- Always play in the backyard.
- Don't play in the driveway.
- Never follow your ball onto the road.
- Young children can never ride their bikes, trikes, scooters or skates without adult supervision.
Keep kids safe by:
- Supervising them at all times, especially kids up to the age of 10 when they're around traffic or on wheeled or motorised toys, which are fast and harder to control.
- Making sure they play in a safe place, such as a backyard, fenced park or recreational area.
- Creating and reinforcing family rules for play.
- Talking to your children about being alert and aware when out and about. Remind them that distractions such as wearing headphones or playing with friends when out and about, or on the way to/from school can make them more vulnerable to danger.
- Making sure your driving and parking aren't endangering children. Obey all parking signs and speed limits, and always be on the lookout for the unexpected. Many traffic safety issues around schools are caused by the poor driving and parking behaviour of parents and carers.
- Never calling your child across the road.
The safest places for young children and beginners to learn to ride bikes, scooters and skateboards are in enclosed areas. This helps to prevent falling onto the footpath, driveway or road while they’re learning to ride. Children need ongoing adult help and supervision in safe, off-road locations to develop their skills.
Young children who wear helmets from when they start riding their first wheeled toy will be safer from head injuries. They'll also be more likely to continue to wear helmets throughout their lives.
How to keep kids riding safely
Help kids understand bicycle safety with these messages.
- Always wear a helmet when you ride or skate.
- Ride your bike away from the road.
To choose the safest helmet, always:
- choose an approved helmet with an Australian Standards sticker
- pick a helmet with a bright colour so your child is easily seen
- make sure it’s the right size, doesn’t block their eyes, has adjustable straps, and is lightweight and comfortable
- avoid wearing a damaged helmet.
Help kids understand helmet safety with these messages.
- No helmet, no bike.
- When everyone has their helmet and shoes on, we can ride our bikes.
- If anyone isn’t wearing their helmet or shoes properly, we’ll put the bikes away.
To read about the law and safety advice for bikes, scooters, skateboards and rollerblades download our Safety on wheels brochure (PDF, 383.26 KB)
The best way to keep young children safe from injuries is to hold their hand or hold them close.
By holding onto children, you can stop them from running into dangerous situations. Even though children may complain about holding hands, explain family rules about safe walking. Doing this and reinforcing safe behaviour will help children learn how to become safer pedestrians.
How to keep kids walking safely
When out and about, show and explain to children:
- where it's safe to walk and cross the road
- when it's safe to walk and cross the road
- what to look for
- what to listen for
- the need to stop and wait at the side of the road before crossing
- the need to keep checking until they’re safely across the road or driveway.
Road rules and advice to help pedestrians stay safe on NSW roads and shared paths.
Bicycle riders have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists, so it’s important that they both look out for each other.