Wellington mother says footpath cycling ban forces kids to break the law

A Wellington mother says she is sick of telling her kids to break the law in order to keep them safe.

Jo Clendon is an advocate for changing the law around children cycling on footpaths - currently, anyone on a bike with wheels larger than 355 millimetres - essentially older than a toddler - has to ride on the road.  

Clendon told The Project it's time for a change.

"The evidence is physics because if you're a child and you encounter a vehicle on the footpath it's going to be a lot slower than on the road."

She says she worries for her kids - but wants to teach them the right way to behave, so the fact that most police officers would likely look the other way if they saw a child riding on the footpath is not good enough.

"My kids are future drivers and I don't want them to decide the speed limit, or a stop sign is a rule they don't have to follow," she said.

"I don't want them to pick and choose - but the reality for parents is if they want to keep their kids safe they have to tell them to break the law." 

The conversation follows a Meadow Fresh commercial being banned from television for "condoning an illegal practice" by showing a girl riding her bike on the footpath.

A viewer, who first saw the commercial in September last year, lodged a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) out of concern that the footage would encourage children to illegally ride their bike on the footpath.

"I know that some people are advocating that children should be allowed to ride bikes on footpaths, but as far as I am aware, the legislation is still in force. This is inappropriate of Meadow Fresh... [and] my concern is that this will confuse not only children, but parents, who will assume that it is ok to let their children break traffic rules and ride on footpaths, when it is not."