Bikes and children

Find out about the rules on riding with children.

Child in a bike seat and wearing a helmet

Do children have to wear helmets?

All children – whether they are riding a bike or they are a passenger – must wear a properly fitting and fastened helmet that meets Australian safety standard AS/NZS2063.

Where can children ride?

Children can ride on the road, but it may be safer for them to ride on the footpath. Children under the age of 12 can ride on footpaths, bike paths, shared paths and separated footpaths. If you are an adult (18 years or older) supervising a child under 12 you can ride with them on a footpath.

What are the rules on child seats?

Your child can be a passenger on your bike if you have fitted a properly designed child seat. Unless the bike is parked, your child must remain in the child seat. Make sure you get a safe child seat.

For further information, call the Safety Centre at The Royal Children’s Hospital on (03) 9345 5085.

Cargo bike

Trailer and cargo bikes

Trailers

To take a child in a trailer towed behind a bike you must be at least 16 years old and the child must be under 10 years old. The trailer must also be able to safely carry the child.

You must not use a trailer on a footpath.

It is a good idea to attach a flag to the trailer so it can be seen more easily. If you're riding at night or in bad weather, you must attach lights and a reflector to your bike. See Before riding - what you need page.

It's also a good idea to attach:

  • red lights and reflectors to the back of the trailer
  • yellow reflectors to each side of the trailer.

Cargo bikes

‘Cargo bikes’ have a box or other carrier which is part of the front of the bike. They can be used to carry a child, preferably in a fitted child seat.

Cargo bikes can only carry as many passengers as they are designed to – usually this will mean one or two children.

If you're riding at night or in bad weather, you must attach lights and reflector to your bike. See Before riding - what you need page.

It's also a good idea to attach:

  • white lights to the front of the cargo part of the bike
  • yellow reflectors to each side of it.
Here are some organisations that assist bike riders with road rules, bike safety and insurance.
This page was last updated on December 11, 2015