Hello fellow cyclists,

The Centre for Automotive Safety Research at The University of Adelaide are seeking participants for a study investigating the safety of child passengers on bicycles. We would like cyclists who are parents of children under 5 who either carry their child as passengers on a bike, or do not carry their child as passengers on a bike to complete our survey.

The results of this research will be used to raise awareness of the different child carriers available, provide information that will allow parents to make informed decisions when selecting a carrier, and improve the safety of child passengers.

This study has been approved by The University of Adelaide Human Research Ethics Committee.

If you would like more information or to participate in the study visit the CASR website

Thanks for your help

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Has anyone else noticed that CASR is an anagram of CARS? Or is it just me?

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You're not paranoid, it is an anagram of cars.

CASR is a road safety research centre and we investigate a range of road safety issues including those that relate to pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists.

I am the author of the study and I ride to work everyday and transport my kids in my bakfiets. I'm hoping the results of this report will provide useful advice to parents who transport their kids or those thinking about transporting their kids by bike. It will highlight the different options available, what the benefits are of different types, and the hints and tips from other cyclists about ways to increase safety when carrying kids on your bike.

Unfortunately safety is one of the main reasons given by people for not riding a bike. I'm hoping that this report will address these concerns.



Good that this work is being done.


"The aim of the project is to explore the issues surrounding the

transportation of young children on bicycles using child carriers, with a focus on the prevalence

and safety of the carriers."  makes me reflect a little upon the scope, since the carriers themselves and the differences between them probably don't offer a great deal of mitigation of the real risk- that imposed by  motor vehicles.


It's not as if choosing a different carrier makes the difference between an acceptable risk and an unacceptable one I would think. I hope the survey considers other mitigations such as routes over which motor vehicles are excluded, or where speeds are kept very low.

Thanks for your interest. I appreciate what you're saying regarding motor vehicles being a risk, and to some extent you're correct.

The study looks at things like use of off-road paths, bike lanes, footpaths, back streets, etc. We also try and get a sense of how people alter their routes (if they do) when transporting children and other things they do to reduce risks when riding.

I'm with Profi on this. Whilst I think anything that might help or encourage people to ride more and transport kids on bikes more is great, the 'safety' concern is essentially about cars, not about this bike carrier over than one, or this route over that one.

For most people, if they can't ride from their house to their destination on an off-road path, they are just not going to ride - especially with kids on board.

Remove the cars, or put in protected bike routes, and people will ride. Without them, they wlll not. It's 95% of the answer. Optimising the remaining 5% to help people is good, of course, but it's really fiddling in the margins. As part of this study is CASR going to advocate for the introduction of 'filtered permeability' on local streets, and the provision of separated bike routes on all arterials?

Not to have a go at you, Simon, because I'm sure your motives are excellent, but the 'road safety' industry in Australia has a history of not actually tackling the causes of road danger (the ideological position that the private car should have priority of access, funding and convenience on our roads), but rather of telling other more vulnerable road users that they need to watch out for their own safety by staying out of the way of oh-so-important-motorists, wearing PPE, Hi Viz, etc etc.

Anyway, I put my own thoughts about riding with kids down a few years ago, if you are interested.


For information on bike carriers etc, you could try here:


Hi Dan, thanks for your input.

I get your point about concerns over cars vs. concerns over seat safety. While I'm still waiting for the data, I'm not really expecting any real differences in the safety of some seats over others. Having said that, there is an absolute lack of data or information on this issue so I'm hoping to address this gap. The other purpose is to highlight the different options available to parents so that people thinking about transporting their kids can find some information that might be useful to them - you can find safety ratings for car seats on the internet. What little information about bike seats there is is generally limited to things like how easy they are to use (I personally don't really find this type of info much use).

In general when talking about improving safety for cyclists I place a great deal of importance on separated infrastructure (completely segregated ahead of painted lines) and lower speed limits. Things like filtered permeability are a great idea, I would classify this as separated infrastructure though.

Your blog post about riding with your daughter was very interesting and I have had similar experiences with my son.

Thanks for the cyclesprog link, I think the info will be most useful.

They are out to get you - all of them!

I have done the survey - must say I was very uncomfortable with the focus on injuries. Have you ever done the same survey for children being injured in or by a car? Why the fear of bikes when the automobile is far more dangerous. Would it not be better to compare the risk of a child being injured in a car to that on a bike? Think you might find cars are a touch more deadly than people really want to know. 

Yea I felt that too Justin, although we are a very sceptical and cynical bunch here. And for good reason. But Simon did say that he does use a bakfiet, so the angle may not be damning.

One thing left out of the survey, I find a lot of routes actually actively exclude cargo bikes, with ridiculously tight switch backs and corners. Perhaps ironically, these do nothing to stop the motor bikes, which are probably the ones the councils are trying to keep out, but they do keep out cyclists with children, parents with prams, and people in wheel chairs.

You are spot on Jon - using a cargo bike (or trike) you really have to think ahead about your route. We don't go over the Harbour Bridge for that reason - my long tail will clear the stairs but not the Nihola trike. It is such a barrier we now don't often consider heading north on the bikes. Amazing Sarah often finds a way to get the trike through barrier but it is such a pain when you a long way down a path and you come to them. There needs to be more thought and just how big a problem are motorbikes on shared paths?

In much of Europe small bikes ie group A are permitted on paths anyway.


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