a quick angry post about ride to school day

This won’t be a well written post. I’m too pissed off with my state’s police. Today was ride to school day, and my 8 year old son has come home telling me the lessons they learned from police: 1. how to negotiate roundabouts as though you are driving a car, and 2. that you must ride your bike on the road, from the day you turn 12.

If kids took their advice, we would be living in 1970s Holland, when 400 kids were killed every year on the road in that country. Wouldn’t it be better to first build safe bicycle infrastructure? While we are waiting (why are we waiting?) we could  teach kids how to ride safe on the footpath.

10 Comments

  1. tk says:

    never too early to introduce a little NWA.

  2. Perthbiker says:

    I share your anger. I bet these police drive their own children to school.

  3. It’s not going to encourage mass cycling is it?

    I had a similar experience with my son in German school this year. Whe it came for him to do the lessons and test (which he has to pass to be allowed to ride to school) he’d been cycling to various places for years and done a few tours with me, so I knew he was safe. I just told him: “If you get told to do something different to what we are used to, don’t argue, just do it, and tell me and we’ll see if it’s a good idea. If not, after your test ride as we always have.”

    So for us an NWA is a Nicely Workable Agreement.

    • Steven says:

      Well said Andy. My 12 year old now roams freely on his bike, riding the way he’s always ridden with me: quiet back streets, shared (bike and pedestrian) areas, and mindfully on footpaths. The problem we have here, is people say “bikes are vehicles” as though Moses found that written in stone, then start teaching kids how to be killed.

  4. Edward says:

    Totally agree. RTSD is a complete waste of time each year. You have to wonder if the organizers have ever stopped to ask what the point of it is.

  5. Vicki says:

    I wonder if the police enforce the not riding on the footpath rule for kids over 12. I ride on the path in places and I have never been fined for it.

    • Steven says:

      It’s fair to assume they turn a blind eye unless you’re behaving recklessly, and are prepared to accept fault in any accident. I have assured my eldest son I’ll pay any fines. I’m fairly confident I’ll keep my money.

  6. Hemp Bike says:

    I’m not surprised. The Police have no impact on road safety.
    “the last strategy to 2010 did not succeed in reducing the number of road deaths and injuries” Brian Gibbons, Chief Executive, NZ Automobile Association

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