Olivia and footpath riding
Footpath riding with Olivia, Celeste and Chloe

Olivia is 8 years old and is scared that some of her friends who are about to turn 12 will soon be forced to ride their bikes on the road.

She and her friends Celeste and Chloe made a video talking about why they get scared at the thought of riding on the road and why footpath age restrictions should be removed in Victoria.

Victoria is the only state in Australia to force people 12 years or older to ride on the road. In New South Wales you can ride on the footpath until you are 16, while other states have no age restrictions at all.

Bicycle Network is continuing to campaign for the removal of footpath age restrictions and last week discussed the issue in the Herald Sun.

CEO Craig Richards said that Victoria has been left behind by bad policy.

“Raising the footpath riding age to 16 in NSW is a positive step, but we haven’t gone far enough, we don’t think there should be any age restrictions anywhere in Australia,” he said.

“Anyone in any state should be able to ride on the footpath."

“Changing footpath riding laws will be a key part of our Victorian state election campaign and we encourage people who ride bikes to get behind it and contact the Roads Minister to ask for a rule change.”

Mr Richards also stressed that allowing footpath riding for all ages would give experienced riders a safer option when they get to a road with high speed, congestion or dangerous pinch-points and that it won't result in cyclists taking control of the pavement.

"Some people are saying footpath riding will lead to pelotons of cyclists thundering down the footpath on Swanston Street at peak hour. That’s just ridiculous and scare mongering."

The Herald Sun news story also includes information from a report commissioned by Victoria Walks, who strongly oppose footpath riding.

While the report includes information about the number of off-road crashes, it also highlights the importance of bike riders not being forced to mix with motor traffic.

It also includes information on bike riders who use the footpath from Australian states where it is legal, including the fact that less than 4 per cent of overall bike trip distances are on the footpath.

How you can help change the age

You can help change the age of footpath riding in Victoria by contacting Premier Daniel Andrews and Roads Minister Luke Donnellan and explaining why the current rules stop people from riding bikes.

You might event like to show them the video of Olivia, Chloe and Celeste.

Email the premier Email the roads minister

Click here to read more about Bicycle Network's footpath riding campaign

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