Starting school safely

It’s an exciting and challenging time when our kids start in primary school. There are many changes and they have plenty of things to think about. But what about getting to and from school safely?

10 September 2020
Image of woman and child holding bags and looking to their right before crossing the road
Image: Stop look listen and think.

Starting school probably means your child will see themselves as a 'big kid'. They may even want to travel to school by themselves, with friends or siblings. However, your young child is still developing many of the skills they need to be safe in a road traffic environment.

Until your child is at least 8 years old, hold their hand:

  • on the footpath
  • in the car park
  • when crossing the road

Up until at least 10 years old, supervise your child very closely, holding their hand when crossing the road. If a hand isn't available they should hold an arm, bag, clothes or the pram.

In the early years of your child's schooling, there are many road safety considerations for you to think about.

The route to and from school may be unfamiliar
Plan a safe route together and practice walking it on weekends or school holidays. As you walk together, talk about all the things you are doing to keep you both safe.

Most journeys to and from school are in peak hours
Roads are full of people and vehicles. The roads around schools are busy places and can make the journey to school hazardous. Always closely and actively supervise your child. Hold hands together when walking on the footpath and crossing the road. You should do this until they are at least ten years old.

The beginning and end of the school day can be hectic
Entering or leaving the school can be a source of great excitement or even stress! Your child may not be focused on their own safety. Arrange a safe place to meet inside the school grounds or on the school side of the road. Never call your child across the road.

Using and sharing pedestrian road safety messages
At school, your child will learn about road safety as part of Personal Development, Health and Physical Education. Help them learn the pedestrian safety messages by using them and sharing them whenever you are out and about.

Share this information with your child's carers such as grandparents, nannies and friends who may be taking or picking up your child from school,

Learn more about safe travel to and from school with your child and visit Transport for NSW's Safety Town

Read the Department of Education's latest information about starting primary school for school readiness checklists, settling into school ideas and much more.


Image of an orange Children Crossing sign in the foreground with a zebra crossing and car in the background
Image: There are many road safety considerations for you to think about.
  • Road Safety Education
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