Children up to the age of 16 are now allowed to cycle on the footpaths in New South Wales (NSW), Australia.

NSW Government says the law change will allow children to feel safer on their bikes and encourage physical exercise by cycling to school.

“Children are some of our most vulnerable road users and as a government, we are always looking at new initiatives to protect our young people and support them to be safe on and near the road,” said Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, Melinda Pavey.

Previously, only children up to the age of 12 were allowed to cycle on footpaths.

Under the new law, children under 16 years of age and adult riders who are supervising them are able to ride on the footpath. Cyclists on the footpath must wear a helmet, keep left and give way to pedestrians.