Riding safely thanks to Bike Ed
More Victorian students will feel confident riding to school with the Victorian Government’s Bike Ed program expanded to reach more kids.
The program, which supports kids to develop the skills they need to ride safely and independently on roads and paths, will now reach students from grade 1 to year 8. The previous bike program was available to grade 5 and 6.
The Bike Ed school program is an in-school program that teaches students about safe riding behaviours, road rules and sharing the road.
The program is delivered by school staff, members of the school community or external cycling education organisations who have undertaken accredited training to deliver the program.
The expansion of the program is part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to increasing the number of people using active modes of transport such as cycling or walking right across the state.
Travelling by bike or on foot supports increased physical activity which plays an important role in the ongoing health and wellbeing of the community.
Even a small shift in the number of people that have the skills and confidence to safely ride a bike will have significant benefits for congestion, health, and the environment.
The news comes on Ride2School Day, encouraging students to consider safe ways to ride to school and promoting the importance of bicycle safety, including the importance of wearing a helmet and being aware of other users on roads and footpaths.
The Government has introduced significant improvements to cyclist safety in recent years including new minimum passing distances for cyclists. The law attracts maximum court penalties of up to $1,817 and on the spot infringements of $363. Improper overtaking or passing offences incur two demerit points.
The rule makes it mandatory for motorists to give riders at least one metre clearance when overtaking on roads up to 60km/h, and 1.5 metres on roads with speed limits above 60km/h.
Rules have also been changed to allow children 12 years and under to cycle on footpaths, and those 13 years and over who are accompanying them to also cycle on footpaths.
This is on top of hundreds of kilometres of new walking and cycling infrastructure across the state to improve safety and give Victorians more choice about how they travel.