From the age of 10, children in Poland can independently move in traffic as cyclists after passing the bicycle exam at school. In 2018–2019 in Masovia region an observation study of students (age:7–10,11–14) in the vicinity of schools was conducted. The observed children were in the process of or have recently completed their cycling education.
The aim of the study was to find out how young road users behave in traffic.
The study was carried out in 14 different locations with different engineering solutions. A dedicated application which included many variables, e.g. crossing/riding across the road was used to collect data. The data was analysed using a statistical description of the occurrence of frequencies. The basis for the percentage was not children but observations of their behaviours. In total 3084 children’s behaviours were analysed;274 of which as cyclists.
The observed behaviors of cyclists were as follows: in 88% of cases, there were no usage of helmets; 65% - no mandatory bicycle equipment; 97% - no signal maneuvers; 86% - did not maintain a proper distance between cyclists and other road users. In addition, the children crossed the road at the pedestrian crossing without a crossing for cyclists, they did not look/stop; they were riding in restricted places.
The presented results show that the current cycling education in Polish schools is not effective enough. It depends on many factors. It should be focused on finding ways to effectively educate young road users and still continue to provide bike training.
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