Riding and Walking to and from School

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA

Purpose of this policy

To minimise risk for students travelling to and from school.

Policy

This table lists a range of measures to manage risk and support safe travel by students.

Activity Policy

Bicycle riding to and from school

Parents/carers are responsible for children riding bicycles to and from school.

Note: Generally speaking, children under the age of twelve do not have the neuro-physiological and psychological development to cope with complex traffic situations on their own.

Road safety authorities recommend that before the age of nine or ten years children should not ride a bicycle in traffic without adult supervision. Depending on their cycling skills and experience, some children over this age may still require supervision.

Children under the age of twelve may ride on footpaths as may a supervising adult. They are required to give way to pedestrians and to wheel their bicycles over pedestrian and children’s crossings. Children aged twelve years or older are required by law to ride on the road.

Schools may wish to provide secure storage for bicycles and helmets.  If bicycle theft is a problem school councils are encouraged to provide a roofed and locked bicycle enclosure within the sight of staff.  Fixed rails within the enclosure should be installed to enable bicycles and helmets to be individually secured.

Bicycle riding to and from venues during school hours

The principal determines whether to allow students to bicycle to and from a venue during school hours.  The principal should take into account the:

  • student’s:
    - age
    - cycling experience
    - ability to perceive hazards
  • traffic conditions
  • distances involved.

Note: If cycling or cycle touring is to occur as an adventure activity, school council approval is needed.

Helmets

Parents and students should be reminded that the law requires that all cyclists wear an approved bicycle helmet. Approved helmets have the Australian Standards Mark TM (AS/NZS 2063) and will be marked as suitable for cycling.

School crossings

The crossing is legally operational only if the school crossing flags are displayed.

The principal must ensure that flags are removed promptly when students are not using the crossing.  Do not leave the flags out all day or overnight as this could lead to some motorists eventually ignoring these crossings when students are using them.

The principal has no authority to instruct:

  • students to put out or take in flags, or to act as crossing monitors.  Parents/guardians must consent before any student is used for these purposes.
  • teachers or the staff to perform crossing duties.  These duties may only be undertaken on a voluntary basis.

If no students or teachers are available to put out crossing flags, the principal should notify the school council and the local municipal council.

Note: The local municipal council is responsible for school crossings, including the establishment of the crossing, training and employment of school crossing supervisors and the supply of flags, uniforms and equipment.

Bicycle or foot races on public roads

If a schools wishes to organise bicycle or foot races on public roads approval must be obtained from the Chief Commissioner of Police.  At least two months notice should be given in a written application specifying the:

  • date of the proposed event
  • approximate number of competitors
  • starting and finishing times
  • route to be followed
  • traffic controls
  • general conditions, including escort vehicles, parking, first aid, parking, rubbish, toilets etc.

Recommendation: Prior to making this application a copy of the event management plan should be sent to local police for their information and to the municipal council and VicRoads for their approval. In most cases the Chief Commissioner requires evidence that these approvals have been obtained.

Related policies