FAQ

The voluntary cycling proficiency test consists of a theoretical and practical part. To get the cycling license both parts have to be passed. The theoretical part of the test is taken by the class teacher at school. After passing the theoretical exam, your child can take the practical exam which is organized by the school and taken by the police in the local traffic education garden (mainly in Austrian capital cities) or in traffic environment (in smaller towns and communities). If both (theoretical and practical) parts of the cycling test have been passed, the cycling license will be sent to the child's home address. 

Dates for the practical part of the cycling proficiency test can be organized with the competent authorities and the coordinators of the respective traffic education garden or road safety park. The responsible person for the traffic education garden in Graz is Mr. Stross, he can be reached under the phone number: 0664/6087285459. Appointments for the practical cycling proficiency test for schools can be arranged in November. After the reservation for a date for the practical test, your class is welcome to arrange a date for our bicycle training "Experts on streets" with our course coordinator in Graz, Mr. Jörg Ofner of FGM-AMOR, he can be reached under the phone number: 0699/18104525.

Schools can organize a bus to the traffic education garden, which can be done with the bus company Springer Reisen (Springer Travels). Please contact Ms. Kuss-Unterschweiger under her phone number: 0316/8060-132.

Cyclists have to comply with the Austrian Road Traffic Act (StVO), which establishes the legal basis of the behaviour of cyclists (and all road users). The bicycle regulation is a supplement of the StVO and regulates the safe equipment for one-track and multi-track bicycles and bike trailers, the placement of child seats, maximum loading weight and safety instructions.

In Austria, cyclists are allowed to participate independently in traffic with the age of 12 years. With official permission (with the cycle license, after the successful passing of the voluntary cycling proficiency test), children may cycle independently on the road with the age of 9, if they attend the fourth grade of primary school, resp. with the age of 10. 

Children under the age of 12 without cycling license, are only allowed to cycle on the road if they are chaperoned by a person with a minimum age of 16.

Basically, cyclists are not allowed to ride side by side on roads.

But cyclists are allowed to ride side by side on cycling lanes, cycling streets, in residential areas and encounter zones. 

Cyclists may ride side by side in pedestrian zones, if it's allowed to cycle there. 

The bicycle must have:

  • Two independent brakes
  • Headlight with white or yellow light and red rear light 
  • Reflector* in the front (white light) and rear reflector (red light). The reflectors can also be connected with the headlight and the rear light. 
  • Side reflectors* or reflective stripes on the tyres (white or yellow)
  • Reflectors on the pedals (yellow)
  • A device for acoustic warning (e. g. bell or horn) 

*Or reflective materials (with at least 20 cm² light ingress surface each), like white or red reflective tapes or wheel reflectors.

The wearing of a bicycle helmet is mandatory for children up to the age of 12. The bicycle helmet must be used by children:

  • if they ride a bike, 
  • when being transported on bikes (e. g. in a child seat) or
  • when being transported in bike trailers. 

The chaperone is responsible for the child wearing the helmet. There are no penalties for cycling/being transported without helmet, but the legislator is rather counting on raising awareness among parents/guardians. The wearing of a helmet is not mandatory if the physical constitution of the child doesn't allow it.

  • Riding freehand
  • Removing the feet from the pedals while cycling
  • Being pulled by another vehicle
  • Carrying dangerous objects while cycling (e. g. opened umbrella, sharp objects etc.) 

Cyclists must give a clear hand signal to the respective direction. 

No. It is not allowed to cycle lengthwise there. Only the crossing with the bike is allowed, e. g. to reach a bicycle parking facility. 

Exception: Children under the age of 12 years, are allowed to cycle there with a children's bike or similar modes of transport (at walking speed) which are classified as "toy similar to a vehicle", under the condition that pedestrians and the road traffic are neither endangered nor hindered.

(Small) children are allowed to ride a children's bike or similar modes of transport (at walking speed) on pavements, sidewalks, footpaths or in residential areas, but not on the road. A children's bike is not legally classified as bicycle but as "toy similar to a vehicle". According to the Austrian Road Traffic Act (StVO) a children's bike has a rim diameter up to 300 mm and can reach a maximum speed of 5 km/h. Children under 12 years without cycling license must be chaperoned by a person of a minimum age of 16 years. The chaperoning can be omitted for children over the age of 8, if the usage of the "toy similar to a vehicle" is propelled by muscle power only (f.e. a scooter without a motor). 

So that one brake still works if the other breaks. 

On bicycle lanes cyclists have to ride:

  • according to the given directional arrow,
  • behind each other,
  • on the given area (separated line to the right of the traffic lane),
  • accordingly on the lane, so that the risk of dooring (risk of being hurt by suddenly opened car doors) will be minimized and that other vehicles can still overtake with a safe distance. 

Attention: A bicycle lane must always be used on the right side of the road.

If it is not possible or allowed for cyclists to ride on bicycle lanes continuously or if the bicycle lane ends, cyclists must be able to change to the nearest traffic lane in such a way that they can alternately follow a vehicle in the continuous traffic lane (zipper system).

Cycling in pedestrian zones is generally not allowed, but the bike can be pushed.

In pedestrian zones, in which cycling is permitted (shown by a sign), cyclists have to take care of pedestrians and cycle at walking speed. 

The blind spot is the area that cannot be seen by vehicle drivers (especially of large vehicles) with the rear-view mirrors. Cyclists can avoid the blind spot by standing in front of the vehicle in order to be seen by the driver or by stopping behind the vehicle. 

 

Electric bikes: Pedelecs and e-bikes with a maximum power of 600 watts and a maximum speed of 25 km/h are legally classified as bicycle. Hence, the same traffic regulations as for the bicycle will apply.

Attention: S-pedelecs (speed-pedelecs with a maximum power of more than 600 watts and a maximum speed of more than 25 km/h) cannot be classified as bicycle. In this case, the traffic regulations as for the moped will apply.

Please use the contact form on the website or contact us via e-mail or phone.

Contact person for the bicycle training in Graz is Mr. Jörg Ofner, e-mail: ofner@fgm.at, Tel. 0699/18104525.

  • Fully functional bicycle (preferably the own one, permitted for road traffic)
  • Fully functional bicycle helmet (preferably the own one, permitted for road traffic)
  • Parental consent (for children under the age of 16)
  • Clothing and shoes must be suitable for cycling and adjusted to weather conditions
  • Food and beverage

All children who own a fully functional bike and a helmet - permitted for road traffic - are allowed to take part in the bicycle training (also children who won't take the cycling proficiency test).

 

The preparation for the theoretical part of the cycling proficiency test mainly takes place in school. Your child will get the learning documents by the school teacher, which are provided by the Austrian Youth Red Cross. On behalf of the City of Graz, the Austrian Mobility Research (FGM-AMOR) offers a bicycle training in traffic as practical preparation for the cycling proficiency test.  The parents play an important role in the preparation - practice cycling with your children in the real traffic area.

  • Exam papers of the theoretical part of the cycling test
  • Declaration of consent with photo of the child, signed by the parents/guardians (= template of the preparation booklet for the voluntary cycling proficiency test of the Austrian Youth Red Cross) 

The preparation and implementation of the theoretical part of the cycling proficiency test will be generally done within the regular school lessons in the 4th grade of primary schools. The exam is voluntary and enables children at the age of 9 years (if they attend the 4th grade) resp. 10 to 12 years to ride a bike independently in traffic. The wearing of a bicycle helmet is mandatory for children under the age of 12 years. The parents or guardians are responsible for the child for wearing the helmet.  

The cycling proficiency test consists of a theoretical and practical part. The theoretical exam is usually done in schools, the practical exam is taken by the local police. If both parts of the exam have been successfully passed, the cycling license will be sent to the child's home address after the 9th resp. 10th birthday. In this context, it shall be assumed that the required physical and mental aptitude for riding a bike and the knowledge of legal traffic regulations are established in the child. 

A written consent by the parents/guardians must be obtained to admit the child to the cycling proficiency test. For sending the cycling license, the parents/guardians must make a written application (with passport photo of the child) (this will mainly be organized by the schools which will send the application to the competent authority).

The following requirements are needed to take part in the cycling proficiency test:

  • Reaching the child's age of 9 resp. 10 years
  • Physical and mental aptitude for riding a bike
  • Knowledge of legal traffic regulations

Competent authority: district administration (Vienna: municipal department 46)

You can gently introduce your child to different situations in traffic. At first, start with cycling exercises in protected space without traffic. This can be a schoolyard, a court yard or a similar closed area without traffic. In traffic education gardens or road safety parks of cities, you can practice the correct cycling behaviour in a protected atmosphere and teach your child the meaning of traffic signs.

In traffic space, it's best to start with traffic calmed zones and bicycle lanes. For common cycling trips at the beginning, you support your child best if you ride in front of it to be able to learn from your cycling behaviour. Later, you can encourage your child to ride in front of you so that you can see the improvement of its cycling behaviour. Always have in mind: cycling should be pleasure and not stress, don't overstrain your child. Repetitive practicing in traffic will strengthen your child's cycling abilities and after successful passing of the cycling proficiency test, it will become easier for you, to let your child cycle in traffic independently. 

The internal universal-fit sizing ring of the helmet must be opened through the rear slider or knob. 

The bicycle helmet has to be adjusted via the chin strap buckle and the internal universal-fit sizing ring onto the head. If there are further fitting problems, it might be necessary to also adjust the front side and the backside rubber strap. 

When wearing a bicycle helmet please ensure a correct setting:

  1. The helmet has to cover the forehead.
  2. The internal universal-fit sizing ring has to be fit onto the head.
  3. The frontside and the backside rubber strap should result in a triangle around the ear, although the ear should be free.
  4. The rubber straps have to fit closely to the head but should not snug.
  5. The chin strap should be fitted as closely onto the head as possible, but still feel comfortable. Please keep enough space for one finger between the chin strap and the lower jaw.
  6. The helmet should not shift.

Tip for (sun) glasses: The temples should lie above the rubber straps. In case of an incident the glasses can drop down easily and hence, this can prevent injuries to the eyes. 

For all types of transport, each child must:

  • have its own seat,
  • wear a seat belt correctly,
  • protected by the transport device from getting into or touching the wheels of the bicycle or trailer with its hands or legs. 

The following regulations apply to the child seat: 

  • Only one child seat may be mounted on the bicycle.
  • The child seat may be mounted behind the saddle only.
  • The seat must have a belt system that cannot be opened easily by the child.
  • The seat must have a headrest, a height-adjustable leg protection and a device that ensures that the legs of the child cannot get between the spokes. Safety tip: Saddles resting on coil springs should be covered so that the child cannot reach them. 

Cyclists who transport children have to be at least 16 years old.

  • Field of vision: The eyes of a child are located much deeper in the scull and therefore, the visual field is smaller. Only with 12 years, the visual field of children have the same size as adults. Children under the age of 12, have difficulties to perceive things that are located at the side. Given the nature of their body height children see things in a different way and they have less overview of the traffic situation. Barriers which can be overlooked by adults easily, can block the child's view. 
  • Localization of sounds: Under the age of 6, children have difficulties to localize sounds correctly. 
  • Estimation of distance: To be able to estimate distances, a perception of field depth is necessary. This perception is only fully developed with the age of 9.
  • Estimation of speed: Children are only able to estimate speed with the age of about 10. Even more difficult for them is to estimate relative speed, hence, if both or more vehicles are in motion.