NSW parent wants laws changed that forced 12 yr old kids onto road...


I was out alone cycling on the street from the age of 6-7. From year 7 I commuted to school, mostly on separated bicycle lanes, although it was also the first time I was hit by a car. But this was different times & different country.

Thoughts, opinions, experiences?

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Other states have moved to permit all adults to ride on footpaths (not just adults carrying appropriate medical certificates).
ACT (Nov-2015 trialling for 2 years), NT (1999), QLD (1-Jan-1993), SA (25-Oct-2015), TAS (1999 ?), WA (27-Apr-2016) – All cyclists permitted to ride on footpaths.

There is much unsafe driving near schools in NSW (aware not the only state).
NSW Opposition calls for state-wide audit of school road safety
Posted by ABC News on 12-Nov-2017
... Revenue NSW has just released figures showing that last year more than 143,000 fines were issued for dangerous driving incidents in school zones across the state.
The figures show most incidents were for speeding, but others were for parking offences, running a red light, doing illegal u-turns and using mobile phones while driving. ...

143,000 fines in NSW alone. Who will think of the children? :P

Also, I hope I am not being too insensitive by saying this, but over-12s riding on the footpath is very, very much less likely to cause damage than someone in a car can do by accident, as we have learned only last week...

In SA (and likely NSW) there has been marked increase in registered vehicles since most AC members went to school.

In 2000 there were 1,074,639. In 2013 there were 1,298,404. So increase of 223,765 vehicles or 21%.
Counts from the Advertiser Monday 26-May-2014 on page 18.

At 30-Jun-2017 there were 1,764,396 vehicles. https://dpti.sa.gov.au/registration_and_licensing
So in a 4-year period from 2013 to 2017, a more rapid increase of 465,992 vehicles or 36%.

well since I was at school, it has increased from about 400,000 registered cars in the state and most people rode bikes. :-)  I remember the brown "kit bag" that would sit nicely between the handle bars, handle bars were fitted curved up in those days for normal use. Then to race all we did was loosen the bolt, slide the bar to one side, rotate them 180 degrees, recentre and tighten.  would carry a racing tyre twisted across our shoulders and think nothing of riding 40+ miles, even the day before for a big race.  Cars were always letting you though and going wide to pass, cos we all rode bikes at some stage.  Not now though

I think the ability to ride on footpaths is indispensable. I used to go it occasionally, illegally. The ability to do it legally now makes my commute WAY safer. (Or way more legal!). Places where I do it include North Terrace (King William Road to Kintore Ave - nice wide footpath, no danger to pedestrians), King William Road (North Terrace to Victoria Drive, again mostly wide) or Frome Street (the parts without a bikeway). The latter has a pretty narrow footpath so I've got to go slow, but that's preferable to risking my life on the road.

I really hope NSW gets in line with the other states. It's madness not to. The laws here (and probably all states) are that we always have to give way to pedestrians, so in theory there is no downside for non cyclists. Obviously this privilege is occasionally abused by some cyclists going dangerously on footpaths, but that is nothing compared to the dangers cyclists face from motor vehicles on unsafe roads.

The parent in NSW is quite justified in his stance - the magical day of one's 12th birthday in NSW makes you road savvy when it comes to cycling - not. I certainly hope he is successful.

That said I don't really like my son cycling on the foot-path due to the fact motor vehicles can suddenly pop out from driveways. I have him on the road in most places only hitting the foot-path when conditions demand it. And isn't that what using the road network is all about? Drive/Cycle to the conditions?

I have always used the foot-path when cycling the latest rules allowing that have simply made legal what I deemed the prudent and safe thing to do.

I might bang an old drum - Strict Liability Legislation covers the case where I on my bike collide with a pedestrian. It is my responsibility to be careful around more vulnerable road network users.


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