Is it safe for kids to ride on the road?

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Re: Is it safe for kids to ride on the road?

Postby bychosis » Tue Dec 17, 2013 7:10 am

I might go so far as to say that if there are kids riding on the road the majority of motorists will probably give them a wider berth. Who wants to injure a kid? An adult cyclist is more capable, therefore can look after the selves better so don't need as much space is possibly in the minds of the average driver.

As always though there are the ratbag driver hell bent on being the most important person on the planet who don't car for other cars, let alone little kiddies on two wheels. There is also the SMS (and other distraction) element that wasn't so prevalent in yesteryear.
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Re: Is it safe for kids to ride on the road?

Postby simonn » Tue Dec 17, 2013 7:25 am

Derny Driver wrote:Riding alone IS dangerous, riding with a partner is much safer because 2 cyclists abreast are more visible to drivers. I know for a fact, from personal experience, that riding next to, or behind a cycling friend/wife/son/daughter/brother, on a scooter or motorbike, reduces the risk of incidents with cars by 100%. In 5 years of doing this, I have NEVER had a horn honked at us, never been abused, never had a car come dangerously close. Before knocking the idea, people should try it. If people have to ride alone (and most people do) then go ahead.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anecdotal_Evidence
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Re: Is it safe for kids to ride on the road?

Postby high_tea » Tue Dec 17, 2013 7:38 am

It's a tough one, because the answer should be "yes", and probably is. But the risks are there, and it's not a done thing, so the risks don't just get glossed over. On the face of it, I'd be more worried about swimming or motoring than cycling.

Come to think of it, swimming is a good example of managing risk constructively: people manage the risk of drowning by teaching their kids to swim. I contend that traffic is the same: you can no more keep them away from traffic than away from water. So teach them to deal with it. Ideally before they get a learner's permit and get behind the wheel of a car with no awareness and no roadcraft.

That's the attitude I take with my kids anyway. But risk is such a personal thing that reasonable minds are going to differ. A lot.

I'd still like better roads, better footpaths and better driver attitudes, though. This would make the roads safer and, also important, more pleasant, to ride on.
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Re: Is it safe for kids to ride on the road?

Postby find_bruce » Tue Dec 17, 2013 7:52 am

I find it tragically ironic that when cars run over & kill 2 little children, the public reaction appears to skip over the fact that it is the car that is dangerous, not the child.

My experience is similar to queegqueg. As I child I had to cross the New England Highway, complete with coal trucks & other heavy traffic to get to school. I walked to school when I was 6 years old and rode my bike to school when I was 8. The cars & other vehicles were not less dangerous then.

As for whether the kid has traffic sense, probably not, which is why as an adult with sense, you need to adjust your behaviour

My ride home last night I was coming along a road where I regularly hit 50 km/h (yes it is slightly downhill :wink: ) I saw a few kids with their parents by the side of the road obviously intending to cross. I immediately started slowing down - sure enough 1 kid started cross the road without looking. Dad stopped her, but I was in a position to stop to avoid hitting the kid if necessary.
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Re: Is it safe for kids to ride on the road?

Postby QuangVuong » Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:33 am

Do I count as a kid? Just 18, two months ago, but I began riding again just over a year ago(didnt have a license, but knew of the road rules). A year ago, I would jump on the bike the ride around the local roads fine, but if there was a car passing, or wanting to turn(even if I had the right to go), Id slow down or even stop to let them go. That's when I only begun riding on the roads more often, but I was still scared. On my first ride with others, we went onto a 2 lane road which was well used, and I started speeding up, sprinting down the road to get back to the more empty roads. I still was not confident and that was a few months in.

Id say it took me about half a year before I gained some road riding confidence. Even though illegal, Id jump onto a footpath if it were a big road, unless there's another rider with me. I like what high_tea is saying. Yes there are unexpected dangers on the roads, but slowly exposing kids to them would allow them to predict and try to avoid those dangers. 12 is still a touch too young to be on roads, but somewhere nearing 16, where they look forward to getting their L's, being on the road shouldnt be too bad. But still, having a good and safe environment to ride would be ideal.

In the few times I rode to school, or sporting events in school uniform, I dont feel a difference. Drivers act the same, or maybe that's because there arent too many bad ones around.
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Re: Is it safe for kids to ride on the road?

Postby il padrone » Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:46 am

g-boaf wrote:Gee, the lynch mob is out in force isn't it?

If I'd known the topic was going to get this kind of response, I wouldn't have posted it. :|

When someone begins to make statements to the effect that it is too dangerous for women and children to ride a bike on the road, or outright falsehoods that kids under 10 are not allowed to ride on the road, you'd kind of expect a bit of a rebuttal :? :|

From my position, living in suburban Melbourne, our kids rode with us (on the road) from about age 6-7. They came on numerous country and suburban cycle-tours and rode to school by themselves from about grade 3 (8 yo). I still remember riding home along the main road from the station after a cycle-tor and as we rode past some shops my son who was behind me (may have been on our tandem) and he yelled out "Oi, STOP!" very loudly at a car that was pulling a bit too far out from a side street. He saw it before I noticed it. At 13 riding hme from school he would regale us with the motorists who had riled him, with a list of the rules they had broken.
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Re: Is it safe for kids to ride on the road?

Postby g-boaf » Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:02 am

Personally, I don't think Derny Driver intended any malice in the comments at all.

Sometimes it is often better to not have any opinion at all - perhaps it will become that way here too, as on other some other forums where everyone would read topics, but nobody would reply for fear of the mob attack.
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Re: Is it safe for kids to ride on the road?

Postby il padrone » Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:16 am

Opinions are fine. I like different opinions, everyone should have one. It's the extreme viewpoint that gets pushed out that is farly obviously going to be controversial - no-one should be surprised that this generates comment, and that is a good thing too.
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Re: Is it safe for kids to ride on the road?

Postby simonn » Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:02 am

g-boaf wrote:Personally, I don't think Derny Driver intended any malice in the comments at all.

Sometimes it is often better to not have any opinion at all - perhaps it will become that way here too, as on other some other forums where everyone would read topics, but nobody would reply for fear of the mob attack.


You're right. Nobody should ever have their opinion challenged :roll:.

I do not think he intended any malice either. I also think that the people who replied intended no malice. People who are not willing to have their opinions challenged should not express them.
Last edited by simonn on Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is it safe for kids to ride on the road?

Postby human909 » Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:08 am

il padrone wrote: At 13 riding hme from school he would regale us with the motorists who had riled him, with a list of the rules they had broken.


The spawn of il padrone! :P :mrgreen:
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Re: Is it safe for kids to ride on the road?

Postby zero » Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:10 pm

From 10 years old onwards, I rode on the hume highway to get to my school friends place, and prior to that when I lived in Victoria I rode on the road from about 8.

The issue with kids is rarely riding on the road.

Most kids that get killed riding a bicycle are crossing a footcrossing, struck by a car entering/exiting a driveway or struck whilst riding for entertainment purposes in a quiet or dead end street. I can think of more than one example of the latter, including afaik the last child killed on a bicycle this year (in WA a week or two ago).

By and large all of those issues are solved by building suburbs with cycleways, where as in the "new" australia, we've taken to building suburbs with neither cycleways or even footpaths.
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Re: Is it safe for kids to ride on the road?

Postby Mulger bill » Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:58 pm

It's not the road that's dangerous, it's the mouth breathing arseclowns with a hypertrophied ego and overdeveloped sense of entitlement that are.
I refused to bubblewrap my kids, from go they were learning from me almost as much as they taught me. Started out with basic behaviour near and on roads as a ped and went from there.
Classic example from when The Lad was about 6, footpath riding at the time. We get to a signalled crossing, he hits the button and concentrates on the red man, I'm watching the traffic. Get the green and he's just about to step out when I roar red light. Old feller in his bullybus rolls through, obviously slowly enough to hear me advise the lad that bullybuses are NEVER to be trusted because he went round the block and bailed us up in a side street. Not proud that The Lad witnessed the red mist descend as I roared about naughtywordwits running red lights 'cos they could but the dill backed down and left before things got really ugly.

He's never forgotten the lesson and happily told his big sister all about it when we got home, she hasn't either.

Teach 'em youmg, teach 'em well.
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Re: Is it safe for kids to ride on the road?

Postby biker jk » Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:24 pm

g-boaf wrote:Personally, I don't think Derny Driver intended any malice in the comments at all.

Sometimes it is often better to not have any opinion at all - perhaps it will become that way here too, as on other some other forums where everyone would read topics, but nobody would reply for fear of the mob attack.


I agree. The attacks on Derny Driver were unjustified. I'm surprised they didn't toss out a misogyny accusation. The thought police are busy on this forum.
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Re: Is it safe for kids to ride on the road?

Postby human909 » Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:57 pm

biker jk wrote:
g-boaf wrote:Personally, I don't think Derny Driver intended any malice in the comments at all.

Sometimes it is often better to not have any opinion at all - perhaps it will become that way here too, as on other some other forums where everyone would read topics, but nobody would reply for fear of the mob attack.


I agree. The attacks on Derny Driver were unjustified. I'm surprised they didn't toss out a misogyny accusation. The thought police are busy on this forum.


What attacks? Derny said a few untruths and made a few controversial comments. People disagreed. Like I said earlier, I don't believe Derny meant to be condescending towards females but was and understandably interpreted that way.
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Re: Is it safe for kids to ride on the road?

Postby Derny Driver » Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:23 pm

biker jk wrote:
g-boaf wrote:Personally, I don't think Derny Driver intended any malice in the comments at all.

Sometimes it is often better to not have any opinion at all - perhaps it will become that way here too, as on other some other forums where everyone would read topics, but nobody would reply for fear of the mob attack.


I agree. The attacks on Derny Driver were unjustified. I'm surprised they didn't toss out a misogyny accusation. The thought police are busy on this forum.

hahaha ... as I said earlier, Im hardly a misogynist. As a teacher 95% of my colleagues (and bosses) are women. I get on with them just fine. I had a big rant on another forum about the rights of women earlier in the year ...anyway, that's ok. I don't feel like Ive been attacked. I am probably guilty of not spending time to make sure what I am trying to convey is clearly worded and not susceptible to misinterpretation.
IP correctly pointed out the fact that my word 'rule' should have been 'recommendation' and I concede that he is correct. The rule or law is actually related to children being allowed to ride on the footpath.
I don't shy away from a good argument or a debate on any forum. I quite enjoy it. The funny thing is that Im not actually disagreeing with anyone too much on this thread, and certainly not trying to be controversial. I rode my bike to school on the road starting when I was 8 years old .....
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Re: Is it safe for kids to ride on the road?

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:25 pm

Derny Driver wrote:
human909 wrote: The inference was there for the reader....
I personally don't see that riding alone is dangerous.
Ive re-read what I wrote and still cant see any inference that suggests that I think female cyclists need to be supervised. If people are seeing that, well its not my intention.



You can't. I can. Your injection of the differential came right out of left field and, outside of unflattering inferences, it makes no sense whatsover.
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Re: Is it safe for kids to ride on the road?

Postby antigee » Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:51 pm

I cycle to school with my daughter most days - she is 11 and we are in Melbourne - the easiest option is to ride on the pavement - we could take a much longer route to pick up quieter roads - otherwise 1/3rd of the journey would be on 60km/h 2 narrow lanes each way - a difficult right turn then through a shopping area with car doors u turns and trams - riding on the pavement is good though as you still learn that vehicles behave in unexpected ways - don't look for peds or cyclists - ignore red lights etc

I find when we do ride on quieter roads - then road positioning isn't as good as could be and observing over the shoulder still isn't as smooth as could be

Riding on the pavement is not without hazard had quite a few (a couple of dangerous) near misses with cars reversing out of blind drives - no one bothers to sound their horn - we slow up for the ones we know regularly do it - and I have spoken nicely to two people pointing out that we travel to school pretty much at the same time everyday and going a bit slower and putting your hand on the horn is easier than me developing x ray vision (one of the offenders has nearly hit me twice when I'm on the way home on the road (high viz - good position) when she turns back into her drive after dropping her kids at school!)
Plus at junctions drivers revert to type and don't treat you as a pedestrian but as a cyclist so any manoeuvre other than giving way is fair game - all very educational

I see very few teens riding to the local secondary and most that do stick on the pavement

When my daughter does get to 12 she will ride to school but we will pick the route very carefully

My perception as a parent is that it is not overtly dangerous for kids to ride on many roads but it could be far far safer and the same applies for adults
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Re: Is it safe for kids to ride on the road?

Postby Derny Driver » Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:52 pm

ColinOldnCranky wrote:
Derny Driver wrote:
human909 wrote: The inference was there for the reader....
I personally don't see that riding alone is dangerous.
Ive re-read what I wrote and still cant see any inference that suggests that I think female cyclists need to be supervised. If people are seeing that, well its not my intention.



You can't. I can. Your injection of the differential came right out of left field and, outside of unflattering inferences, it makes no sense whatsover.

Thanks dude, you're about the 5th person to tell me that. I could try to explain, but wont bother ......
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Re: Is it safe for kids to ride on the road?

Postby antigee » Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:58 pm

from the UK Sustrans (Sustainable Transport Charity) an interesting video of a Dad teaching his kid how to ride to school

http://www.sustrans.org.uk/blog/instructional-and-inspirational-video-ethan-riding-school
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Re: Is it safe for kids to ride on the road?

Postby il padrone » Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:43 pm

biker jk wrote: The attacks on Derny Driver were unjustified. I'm surprised they didn't toss out a misogyny accusation. The thought police are busy on this forum.

Where have there been "attacks" ??? People, including myself have questioned the viewpoint and accuracy of certain claims.

I'll put it out again -

Derny Driver wrote:Kids need to ride on the footpath until they are 12.


Derny Driver wrote:People with kids who ride, or wives who ride, should spend a grand and get a second hand scooter. You get to spend a couple of hours of quality time together, chatting, and you are keeping that person 100% safe. Riding alone is dodgy even for adults.


Derny Driver wrote:The reason children under 10 years old are not allowed on road


Do you suggest that such statements should be accepted with no question of what the real world situation is ??
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Re: Is it safe for kids to ride on the road?

Postby il padrone » Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:51 pm

Riding bikes on the footpath (for sub-12 year olds) teaches kids that you ride bikes on the footpath to be safest :roll: . Never a good teaching strategy. The Bike-ed Kit in schools was all about teaching kids good on-road cycling skills. Unfortunately many litigation-conscious schools and danger-wary primary teachers have hijacked it and turn it into 'footpath-riding at all costs'. Personally I do not agree that it is safe, that's why I taught my kids, from ~ 8yo on, how to ride on the road safely.

I think my son's only fall has involved wet tram tracks (not found much in our area). My daughter has also had one nasty fall, on a very steep rural road descent involving some cut up tarmac. I consider both of them to be safe and accomplished riders.
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Re: Is it safe for kids to ride on the road?

Postby cage » Tue Dec 17, 2013 5:26 pm

Derny Driver wrote:Thanks dude, you're about the 5th person to tell me that. I could try to explain, but wont bother ......


Here's a crazy thought, maybe because your wrong...

Personally I think its a lot safer now compared to the 70's when V8's ruled the road and the cops had very little in the way of speed detection.
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Re: Is it safe for kids to ride on the road?

Postby human909 » Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:44 pm

I think it is about time that we finish the post-mortem on Derny Driver's comments...

Just saying....
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Re: Is it safe for kids to ride on the road?

Postby queequeg » Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:39 pm

Just to add my own 2 cents worth. The only place I have been hit by a car was when I was riding on a dedicated on-road bi-directional cycleway. The kind with lots of green paint and obvious hints it is there.

I was hit by a resident of a unit block exiting their premises at warp speed. I was cycling in the lane furthest from the driver, and to get to me they had to first cross the 3m wide footpath for pedestrians, then the 1.5m lane. next to me,

Cycling on dedicated paths that pass people's driveways is just asking for trouble. I'll stick to the road if it is a better choice.
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Re: Is it safe for kids to ride on the road?

Postby Marx » Wed Dec 18, 2013 6:31 am

It's disappointing that some children are allowed to drive cars on the road just because they are of a certain age, regardless of their demonstrated capacity to accept responsibility for those around them.

While other children who are wise beyond their years are stopped from riding their bikes by [over] cautious parents.
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