Drive so others survive! National Road Safety Week is coming up next week, 15 to 22 May 2022. Traffic injury is the biggest killer of Australian children under 15. Amongst vulnerable road users, children are the most vulnerable. We need our children to be safe crossing roads if they are to walk to school. Many schools regard the existing safety to be inadequate. Let TCCS do more and talk less.
The ACT Government has an Active Streets website for the Lyneham Primary School. Active Streets and Ride and Walk to School programs work hand in hand to promote active travel around schools.
Why wait until the driver’s licence? We can teach children safe cycling in school. In the Netherlands, the school children take a traffic exam on their bikes when they are just 11 years old. With a rite of passage on bicycles, are we surprised that the Netherlands is a cycling nation. The nature of a rite of passage is something to celebrate!
Amongst children, boys and girls, the participation rate for cycling is the same, which is known as “parity”. Amongst women in the ACT, and typical for low cycling countries, men are much more likely to cycle than women. The question should be, perhaps, not why women cycle less, but rather why girls in adolescence stop cycling.
Riding to work is a great way to start the day. 🙂 People often give strange reasons for not commuting to work on a bicycle. There are things that make cycling easy and others that make it harder. The third category is those things that people think would make a difference but do not – fallacies. Cycling is well researched, so that we know these fallacies are common in low cycling countries such as USA, Canada, UK, NZ and Australia.
It is not the cold that stops kids from riding to school but the lack of safe infrastructure. All parents are concerned about their children’s safety. In Finland, children will ride to school on snow in subzero all year round. Clearly, the cold does not hold them back. Without a separated bike path and swept bike paths, it would not happen.
In making roads better for cars we have made an environment hostile to people and in particular children.
There is so much that children need to learn about bikes, besides just the skills to ride them. Cycling is a lifestyle and riding to school is about that. Extracts from the Ride and Walk to School program from the Physical Activity Foundation.
Walking to school was common and could be again. The Ride or Walk to School program encourages kids to ride to school by teaching them the skills they need to do it. Active Streets aims to improve the paths around schools to make it safe to do so.
The ACT Government has a program for cycling safety for primary school children. One of the lessons identifies cycling hazards. The examples are found everywhere in Canberra. Perhaps we should send TCCS back to school. The hazards in the ACT take too long time to fixed.