Advocacy & Safety - Instilling values
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06-19-02, 12:21 PM
I just saw an article about how children get to school. The numbers were (approximately):
65% get driven or drive
25% take the school bus
3% take public transit
Biking and walking had high fatality rates. Buses had the least. The worst though were kids who were driven by a teenager.
I don't think I was ever driven to school as a kid. It was bus, bike or walk. It's probably not a coincidence that biking was my main mode of transportation as a child--and still is.
06-19-02, 12:34 PM
Yes, it's true: bicycling can be dangerous for children because we don't teach them how to ride. In fact, most parents who get bicycles for their kids don't know how to ride one, either. The fatality and accident rates for untrained children and adults is many times higher than the rate for trained cyclists of all ages.
I agree: the fact that my parents refused to drive me to school (or almost anywhere else) played a large part in my using a bicycle today. Also, many more children are obese these days, too.
Probably the safest form of ground transportation is by bus/train, whether school bus or public transport.
Gee, the only time I got hit by a car was when I was walking.
I try to teach my 9 year old to ride on the right. Hug the curb, look, LOOK, LOOK! Did I mention look? Stop at stop signs, look, look at traffic then go when safe while you look. Always stop and look before entering a street, and look before you go. I think she thinks I am nuts, but it hurts to get hit by a car, I know.
I can't believe only 5% of kids walk to school. How far are the schools that so many kids need to be driven? I get teh feeling american burbs are designed so that everywhere you go you have to take a car. I think it also contributes to the high rate of death and accidents among teens. They all have to have cars to get to school, as a result, more teen drivers on the road and more accidents. No wonder american kids are so tubby, no wonder teens are in so many accidents! We all walked to school, but there were some kids who had to take a school bus; but anyone who was in the area, we all walked, unless the weather was really horrible or we had some big stuff to carry.
I would like to see that statistics for Canada, it would not suprise me if were are not all that much better.
I was driven or road the bus to school. My parents always thought riding a bike in the road was extremely dangerous (still do...my dad and I got in to an argument a few months ago...he swears it's illegal for me to ride in the street and that I don't have the same rights as a slow moving vehicle!!)
For the record, here are the distances to my schools:
k-5: 2.06 miles
Jr. High: 6.1 miles
HS: 5 miles
In grades K-4, my sons walked to their local elementary school. In grades 5 through 8, they walked to this school and then rode a school bus from there.
My biggest gripe with my local high school district is that it does not provide transportation for grades 9-12, thereby encouraging parents to drive their kids to school or to buy them cars. As a suburban kid, I always rode the school bus, except during 12th grade, when I was learning to drive. That year, I drove my father to my school, and then he drove the car from there to his office. When I attended UCLA, I always cycled or rode public transportation, and bought my first car only after I bought my first house, at age 26.
Our challenge as cycling advocates is to convince more people to regard bicycles as a safe, efficient, economical, enjoyable, effective, environmentally friendly transportation alternative. We also need to strive to make cycling safer through motorist (and cyclist) education and legal accountability.
John C. Ratliff
06-21-02, 04:55 PM
I saw a newspaper article on this topic, and if my memory is right, walking and bicycling was less hazardous than being driven to school. The most hazardous was for people being driven by a teenage driver, and the article asked that some curbs be placed on teen driving. In Oregon, there is a fairly new law which restricts teen drivers in the type of driving, and who can ride with them. It has been responsible for a decrease in teenage driving deaths over the last two years. I'll try to find the article and confirm my memory next week.
06-21-02, 04:55 PM
My son Miguel ride the school bus, ita 3 km. ride, and he gets to ride with his peers, which makes it more exiciting everyday he is in Junior Kinder
Spire, I'd be curious too, but I am pretty sure canada is probably better, if not by much. American cicties often have these huge, sprawling burbs where it's impossible to get anywhere by just walking, and we just don't have te saem car culture. Cities here are designed differently, but I am sure kids are walking to school less than they used to, even in canda. Apparently, canadian kids are becoming more tubby, out of shape and are exercising less than they did ten years ago. That's why it makes me laugh when parents worry about kids getting hurt playing, or that doing stuff like skateboarding anda BMXing is dangerous. As opposed to what- sitting in front of the tv or playing nintendo and stuffing their faces with cheesies? Like that's healthy???
06-21-02, 09:46 PM
I always walked to school until about the 9th grade. I remember being taught walking safety in kindergarden. I don't ever remember anyone teaching us how to be safe on bikes, going to and from school. My parents did that. :)
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