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  1. #1
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    81% of parents ban children from cycling

    from

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/7380691.stm

    Parents 'stop children cycling'

    Parents' fears about road safety are turning children into a lost generation of cyclists, says a government-backed agency that promotes cycling.

    Four out of five children are banned from cycling to school by their parents, a poll of 1,079 parents for Cycling England suggests.

    This compares with the 35% of parents who were allowed to bike to school when they were children themselves.

    Launching Bike to School Week the group said road accidents are declining.

    The survey found 81% of parents ban children from cycling independently.

    This was creating a new breed of "cul-de-sac kids" restricted to cycling only in their own road and neighbouring streets, Cycling England warned.

    The biggest reason why parents did not let their child cycle on the road was concern about safety - but only 3% knew someone who had been in an accident.

    In 2006 there were 10 times more accidents involving cars than there were accidents involving bicycles.
    Most parents said cycle training would make them feel more reassured about their child cycling without any adult supervision.

    And some two-thirds said they felt their child did not have the confidence and skills to ride on the road.
    Although three-quarters of children are allowed to cycle for recreation at the weekend or after school, only one in five is allowed to use his bicycle as a way of getting from one place to another.

    More than half of the same parents said they had regularly used cycling as a way of getting around as a child.

    Cul-de-sac

    Chairman of Cycling England Phillip Darnton said: "This research underlines the important role of cycling training in giving children the skills and confidence they need to cycle on the roads - and in giving parents the reassurance that their child is well equipped to do so.

    "Concern about safety is understandable, but we need to remember that on-road accidents are in long term decline.

    "Every parent will want to ensure their children are kept safe, but they can't live out their lives within the shadows of the cul-de-sac, never able to venture further away from home," he added.

    Cycling to school or with friends could have a positive role in developing a child's independence, he said.

    Cycling England runs bicycle training schemes and a new proficiency scheme known as Bikeability.

    Mr Darnton is urging more schools to come forward and offer the training as part of the push to get more youngsters cycling.

  2. #2
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Is the decline in on-road accidents due to the decline in cycling?

  3. #3
    Metalhead
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Is the decline in on-road accidents due to the decline in cycling?
    Good question, but I think the percentage is the important number. How many people per 1,000 bike riders have been involved in accidents. Not necessarily a given number. If the percentage is going down, the decline doesn't matter unless it's a significant decline such as 10 million people nationwide down to, say, under 7 million. The percentage per 7 million people or 10 million, if it stays the same, is the important number.
    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker
    How many cars would be sold, I wonder, if they advertised just the wrecks?

  4. #4
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    I find it striking that while 81% of parents ban children from cycling due to "safety", only 3% knew someone who had been in an accident.

    I think this has more than a bit due to the work of groups like The Bicycle Helmet Initiative Trust

    http://www.bhit.org/

    that use scare tactics to promote helmet use and end up discouraging people from riding altogether.

    It's all too ironic if you look at the over all situation



    and the head of the organization herself


  5. #5
    surly old man jgedwa's Avatar
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    Hard issue. I am a cyclist and a parent. of 10 and 6 year old boys. Say all you want about the sickness of modern parenting, but also imagine watching your beloved little child wobble off inches away from rushing cars.

    I am not arguing against letting kids ride (and in fact, both of my boys can ride alone under somewhat wide circumstances), but do not stand back and heave specious claims about how parents should analyze risks.

    jim
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  6. #6
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    I wouldn't say the point is to critisize parents but to understand how it is a parent finds cycling something so dangerous as to not let their children take part in.

    The image of cycling as a dangerous pursuit as opposed to a positive pursuit seems to be widespread and one has to wonder why that is
    Last edited by closetbiker; 05-06-08 at 10:49 AM.

  7. #7
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    My son will be cycling before he can walk. My wife approves. And no friggin' training wheels, either.

  8. #8
    Almost Middle-Aged Member TXChick's Avatar
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    I've noticed the trend among my friends. I have a friend whose 10yo is only allowed to ride on the sidewalk and only on the sidewalk in front of his house. That's about 30 feet. His grandmother lives six blocks away, in a quiet residential neighborhood, and he is not allowed to bike there. I personally think it's silly and parents should be out teaching their children how to navigate traffic.

  9. #9
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    I used to ride my bike around town all day without a word of worry from my mom.

    When I went to high school, there were so many bikes parked against the fence, you couldn't even see the fence.

  10. #10
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
    The biggest reason why parents did not let their child cycle on the road was concern about safety - but only 3% knew someone who had been in an accident.
    I wouldn't make much of this factoid; I doubt that even 3% of parents know someone who have set themselves on fire but probably 100% still won't let their children play with matches.

    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
    In 2006 there were 10 times more accidents involving cars than there were accidents involving bicycles.
    What is the exposure time to car accidents vice bike accidents? Without that info this is only statistical gibberish.
    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
    Most parents said cycle training would make them feel more reassured about their child cycling without any adult supervision...
    Chairman of Cycling England Phillip Darnton said: "This research underlines the important role of cycling training in giving children the skills and confidence they need to cycle on the roads - and in giving parents the reassurance that their child is well equipped to do so...
    Cycling England runs bicycle training schemes and a new proficiency scheme known as Bikeability.

    Mr Darnton is urging more schools to come forward and offer the training as part of the push to get more youngsters cycling.
    Mr. Darnton sounds just like some of the U.S. proselytizers for Cyclist Training who just happen to have a specific propriatary Education Program/Scheme in their back pocket to promote. Amazing how such fellows always are spouting misleading safety stats as part of their shill.

  11. #11
    my nose itches starla's Avatar
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    Do you think it's fear of an accident or fear of strangers/abduction, etc.? I don't have any kids, but if I did, they would be on bikes and they would learn how to stand up for themselves. With traffic or with strangers.

  12. #12
    Senior Member hotbike's Avatar
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    I think there are a lot of perverts and molesters driving around in cars.

    Motorists who get involved in any *near* accident with a bicycle should be investigated.

    Motorists are using stupid excuses to justify stopping and bothering children.

    And the Police do nothing?

    Motorists shouldn't have anything to do with children on bikes. Anyone that does should be under suspicion.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/11629987@N02/sets/72157639939606343/

  13. #13
    Getting older and slower
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    There's no shortage of overprotective parents in the US today. The stuff I used to do as a kid would give most of these coddling moms & pops a heart attack. I can't speak for the UK though.

  14. #14
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenPremier View Post
    Good question, but I think the percentage is the important number. How many people per 1,000 bike riders have been involved in accidents. Not necessarily a given number. If the percentage is going down, the decline doesn't matter unless it's a significant decline such as 10 million people nationwide down to, say, under 7 million. The percentage per 7 million people or 10 million, if it stays the same, is the important number.
    But how do they know the number of cyclists? A decline in percent per total population may just indicate a decline in the over all miles ridden. A decrease of accidents per miles ridden is a good indicator... but how do they know what the miles ridden are? In fact, how do they know people are even riding on the streets? In the US for instance, there has been a strong movement toward off road cycling... very difficult to be part of an on-road accident if all you do is ride off road.

    So bottom line... I really question these stats.

  15. #15
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    My parents set limits, going to school was within them. That was in the early '60s.

    But I wanted to go farther. So I did. It made me a very careful cyclist even as a child because I knew that if I got in trouble or hurt, that would be the end of things.


    Child molesters? The only one I encountered as a boy worked at the photo shop where I took film to be developed. What other stranger had my phone number and knew I liked photography??? As far as bicycling my only worry was running into the school bullies. They were especially dangerous off campus.
    Last edited by Artkansas; 05-06-08 at 02:48 PM.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXChick View Post
    I've noticed the trend among my friends. I have a friend whose 10yo is only allowed to ride on the sidewalk and only on the sidewalk in front of his house. That's about 30 feet. His grandmother lives six blocks away, in a quiet residential neighborhood, and he is not allowed to bike there. I personally think it's silly and parents should be out teaching their children how to navigate traffic.
    At 10, that probably would have been within the limits my parents set. I was allowed on 25 mph streets. I was not allowed on the main road alone til I had a bike with hand brakes and had demonstrated that I knew the rules of the road. This was in the late 1980s.

  17. #17
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    I wouldn't make much of this factoid;...What is the exposure time to car accidents vice bike accidents? Without that info this is only statistical gibberish...Mr. Darnton sounds just like some of the U.S. proselytizers for Cyclist Training ... Amazing how such fellows always are spouting misleading safety stats as part of their shill.
    Well, it does say this is only based on a survey. Hardly solid evidence, but it does speak to a trend of thought whereby the general public can be influenced by the media using scare stories to get sales up for them but reduce an as safe as any other mode of travel reduced to the detriment of the readers themselves.

    As for a way to treat the problem (fear) I'd suggest a little critical thought when taking in new information to start with. People can be so gullible.

  18. #18
    Senior Member daintonj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotbike View Post
    Motorists who get involved in any *near* accident with a bicycle should be investigated.
    While I was walking around town the other day someone bumped into me. What's worse is they were fat, the human equivalent of an SUV. These irresponsible lard arses with the status flab wobbling over the pavement talking on phones is a disgrace, only trained atheletes should be allowed on the pavement and even then they must wear a helmet.

    You're dead right, we should have highly trained inspectors constantly monitoring us in case of near accidents. I for one welcome your totalitarian health and safety state, it's clearly for the children.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
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    And this is in the UK? I bet it's closer to 95% in the US.

    http://www.yehudamoon.com/index.php?date=2008-04-29

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by starla View Post
    Do you think it's fear of an accident or fear of strangers/abduction, etc.? I don't have any kids, but if I did, they would be on bikes and they would learn how to stand up for themselves. With traffic or with strangers.
    Both are irrational. The fear of abduction much more so. The odds of your child being abducted are very very very low. The odds of them being hit by a car are low as well.

    The odds of them being obese are much higher. The odds of them failing to become an independent adult are probably higher than getting hit by a car.

    Either way: It's a backwards solution. If cars are getting people killed, cars should be banned. I know, I know, cars don't kill people, careless drivers do.


    There's probably an age (depends on the kid) where they're ready to ride on busier streets. But, at least out here in the mid-west, elementary schools tend to be sectioned off by busy streets so that most kids don't need to cross one to get to school. I'd guess that age is around 10, but I don't have any kids.

  21. #21
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    I remember growing up being allowed to go pretty much anywhere. We would explore everywhere we could get to before we got tired. I think children would be fine with a little bit of practice on the road, if not they will figure it out themselves, I hope the next generation isn't losing its sense of adventure.

  22. #22
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SonataInFSharp View Post
    My son will be cycling before he can walk. My wife approves. And no friggin' training wheels, either.

    Good luck with that. First time he bolts off the drive into traffic I bet your tunes changes.

  23. #23
    n00b-sauce
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    Quote Originally Posted by dobber View Post
    Good luck with that. First time he bolts off the drive into traffic I bet your tunes changes.
    I don't know too many toddlers that can't walk that could over power an adult. Unless you're assuming that the child was left unattended... In that case, you should probably be more aware of what your child is doing.
    I like to ride bikes. I miss living in the city though, where it was all a bike's ride away. City dwellers: appreciate it. :D

  24. #24
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
    Hardly solid evidence, but it does speak to a trend of thought whereby the general public can be influenced by the media using scare stories to get sales up for them but reduce an as safe as any other mode of travel reduced to the detriment of the readers themselves.

    As for a way to treat the problem (fear) I'd suggest a little critical thought when taking in new information to start with. People can be so gullible.
    Oh I agree. Mr. Darnton is obviously trying to sell his education program to gullible people through scare stories and misleading "information."

  25. #25
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SonataInFSharp
    My son will be cycling before he can walk. My wife approves. And no friggin' training wheels, either.
    Quote Originally Posted by dobber View Post
    Good luck with that. First time he bolts off the drive into traffic I bet your tunes changes.
    My grandchildren will be leaping tall buildings in a single bound and stop speeding speeding locomotives with one hand tied behind their back, and all without either fruity spandex or a cape. My wife approves too!

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