Using free or cheap active travel options (walking, cycling, scooting or even taking public transport) to and from school can increase the amount of physical activity children get throughout the day, and often costs less than driving.

Remember, if you live too far from school, part of the way is okay too. Here are some tips to start walking and riding to school safely.


  1. Talk

    Talk about when and how your child will be travelling to school. Do they want to cycle, walk or ride a scooter?


  2. Plan

    Plan the route as a family. Learn which streets are safest.

    Quieter streets, streets with suitable paths (like cycle paths and sidewalks) are safest. If it makes you feel more comfortable, testing the journey yourself is a great way to be sure it's safe and easy for children.


  3. Check

    If riding bikes or scooters to school, make sure they are in good condition and that children wear appropriate clothing and shoes.

    Remember, Australian standard quality helmets are compulsory throughout Australia when riding bikes. For safety tips, take a look at the Bicycle rider handbook.


  4. Try

    When you're comfortable with the planned path, try the journey as a family on a weekend.


  5. Accompany

    Travel with kids to school the first few times, so they gain confidence and learn to practice road safety. Taking younger siblings in a pram would be a great start and an enjoyable family activity.


  6. Invite

    If there are others in the neighbourhood who are heading to the same school, why not go together?

Part of the way is ok too!

Taking active travel doesn't have to mean walking or riding the whole way.

Some families find it convenient to drop children off at school on the way to work. Others live too far to walk, cycle or scoot. Here are some options to find what works for your family.

  • Public transport is a great option – walk from home to the bus or train.
  • Park your car a few blocks from the school and do a short walk to school.
  • If you can't do active travel to or from school, try heading to a playground, park or swimming pool for some after school exercise.
  • Introducing children to active travel at a young age will increase their road awareness, experience, confidence and independence as they get older. 

Cycling

Cycling is a popular way to get to school for many children. It is important to have the correct equipment to avoid injuries and ensure your child arrives safely at school.

Take a look at the Roads and Maritime Services' Bicycle rider handbook for tips on road safety while cycling and how to maintain your bike. Or use the Cycleway Finder to look for a safe cycleway near you.

Licensed from the LiveLighter® campaign © State of Western Australia. Reproduced with permission.