Daily bike ride to school could be a thing of the past

24 January 2011

The days of children cycling to school appear to be numbered as parents become increasingly concerned about other road users according to research from SGIC*.

A survey of 500 SA parents released in the lead up to the new school term, found that almost 55 per cent prefer not to let their children cycle to school due to concerns about road safety.

SGIC spokesperson Emily Gatt said that many parents had a strong focus on teaching their kids good road safety skills but were clearly fearful of the actions of other road users.

“In addition to being concerned about other road users, parents feel their kids are too young to be cycling to school and are worried about the safety of their community.

“Children across SA are about to head back to school but the days of simply jumping on your bike and cycling to school appear to be diminishing,” said Ms Gatt.

The SGIC survey also found the following about SA parents:

  • almost 90 per cent have taught their children to ‘stop, look and listen’ before crossing a road;
  • around 80 per cent always cross at a pedestrian crossing or traffic lights with their children; and
  • almost 10 per cent have had a near miss on the road while walking their kids to school.

Ms Gatt said it was encouraging to see the focus many parents put on road safety skills but many were still concerned about the dangers posed to their children from drivers on the road.

“We want to encourage all drivers to follow the road rules around schools and for those parents that walk their children to school, be aware and road safe,” said Ms Gatt.

SGIC offers some tips for SA parents and children:

  • follow the school zone road rules at all times to avoid the worst happening;
  • teach your children to ‘stop, look and listen’ before crossing the road;
  • ensure all children who ride a bike to school wear an Australian Standards approved helmet; and
  • children should be closely supervised around traffic at all times.

* Based on a survey of 500 SA parents by Pure Profile Research in July 2010.