Children & pedestrian safety

Research shows that young children do not have the skills and experience to be safe in traffic on their own. Parents and carers need to take special care and supervise young children in traffic.

Children up to 5 years

Parents and carers must always hold children’s hands when near traffic or the road. Once a child is mobile, especially walking, they must never be left unsupervised around roads or vehicles. Young children lack the skills, knowledge and judgement to be able to cope with traffic and so need to be constantly supervised.

Children 5 years up to 12 years

Parents and carers can help children by providing plenty of practical supervised experience in using the road safely, as a part of the journeys taken every day. Research shows that children under age 12 do not have the skills and experience to be safe in traffic. Teach them safe traffic behaviour and set a good example.

Children 11 or 12 years and over

Children may become more independent in their travel, however in complex traffic situations they may still require supervision. Check regularly to ensure that children remember and follow safety procedures. Work with them to plan safe walking and cycling routes. Find out what road safety education programs are being taught at their schools, and reinforce what their schools are teaching.

Driveway safety

When you are walking with children it is important to demonstrate that children should approach driveways with caution. Engage children in conversations to help improve their safety when walking near driveways. For example, ask: how they can tell if a vehicle is coming out of the driveway? (e.g. listen for sounds, look for clues such as exhaust emissions, reversing lights or beeps from trucks).

Victoria has a comprehensive road safety education program covering early childhood, primary and secondary schools. Educating parents, carers and children about driveway safety is included in these programs. The core primary school resource 'Kids on the Move' includes learning activities about pedestrian safety and looking out for driveways. In addition, Bike Ed includes education about riding safely on paths, including footpaths. For more information, please visit Victoria's road safety education website.

Using children’s crossings

Visit our crossing the road safely page for information about using children’s crossings.

Ride2School

The Ride2School program is delivered by Bicycle Network Victoria. Ride2School is a behaviour change program which aims to increase the number of students walking and riding to and from school.

The program reaches over 2000 schools and over 700,000 students nationally.

For more information, visit the Bicycle Network Victoria website (External link).

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