What problem did you address/are you addressing?
Children who learn to move in real traffic environment and want to cycle are often confronted with new challenges on the streets. The increased motorization in urban areas and the feeling of stress and time pressure often leads to a risky and antisocial road safety behaviour of traffic participants and the role model function of parents gets lost. Moreover, digital distractions (e.g. mobile phones, headphones) interfere with un adequate road safety development of children and a proper learning of cycle and road safety abilities. A bicycle training in real traffic environment that takes into account new competences, like risk competence and social competence, and which responds to the needs and traffic abilities of children, can reduce the road safety risks and additionally minimize the fear of parents, when letting their child cycle on the streets.
What are your objectives?
Implementation of new methods of road safety training and traffic education that strengthen the risk competence and social competence of children when cycling and walking on the streets.
Increasing the road safety of children by offering bicycle training courses in real traffic environment for children at the age of 9-10 years.
Transfer of these new road safety and traffic education methods to schools where a practical bicycle training is not possible.
Describe the characteristics of your target audience
The target audience of the bicycle training and its new methods are children from 9-10 years (4th grade of primary schools) who learn to cycle on the streets. Generally, children belong to the group of most vulnerable road users. Children between 8 and 14 years are easily distracted and therefore, are at higher risk around traffic. Their highest risk of fatality is still as car passenger followed as pedestrians and cyclists. Children who travel mainly by car are less successful in negotiating road traffic as pedestrians, public transport users or cyclists. The ability of children to develop risk awareness and, therefore, to perceive traffic situations as dangerous is largely dependent on age and on the role model function of road safety behaviour of their parents. Inactive children are less healthy and their psychomotor development and also their attentiveness are negatively affected.Children who learn to walk and cycle on their school ways from early on will obtain a higher road safety ability, when knowing about risk and social competences in the complex traffic system and this will lead to a better road safety behaviour as adult.
How did you disseminate/are you disseminating results or how did you promote/are you promoting your initiative?
The results will be disseminated through the final report that will be published for the Austrian Ministry of Transport. Moreover, road safety recommendations, integrating the new competences for traffic education, will be developed for parents and schools and disseminated through attractive brochures nationwide in Austrian schools.
How did you evaluate/are you evaluating the success of your action?
The project aims are reached, when:- effective, individual training methods,which consider the different road safety abilities and needs of children, and which integrate the risk competence and social competence of road safety, could be developed;- these new training methods could be implemented in practical biycle trainings and in traffic education methods for schools in general. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the new training methods, integrating risk and social competence, within the bicycle training course, indicators will be defined, that compare the cycling behaviour in two different groups:The control group is trained with traditional aspects of road safety (learning rules and norms in traffic) and will be observed during the training. After approx. 2 months (after the bicyle exam for children, carried out by the police) another observation of the children will be done to exclude influences like age, training with parents, learning with the teacher in order to make a comparison with the experimental group. The experimental group is trained with new methods (integration of risk competence, individual abilities and needs, social aspects of road safety) and will be also observed during the training and approx. 2 months later (after the bicylce exam). The differences between control and experimental group will be evaluated and will show if the new methods are effective.Moreover, a survey of teachers will be done as well as qualitative interviews with bicycle trainers, the school police and school bus drivers will be carried out to get information of experts concerning the risk behaviour of children. The action is successful if the integration of new training methods have positive impact on cycling and road safety behaviour of children.
When did/will you carry out the evaluation?
Before, after and continuous monitoring
Please list the indicators you use to measure success
Ability of riding a bike (motoric and cognitive abilities of children): Size of children (e.g. compared to their bike), are they able to break without feet? Do they know how to use the breaks in traffic? Risk behaviour of children: Do they watch the t
Please describe the evaluation tools you use (i.e. surveys, interviews, focus groups, etc.)
Standardised observation of children during the bicycle training
Quantitative survey of parents with standardised questionnaires.
Qualitative survey of teachers with structured guideline interviews
Qualitative survey of bicycle trainers with structured guideline interviews.
Qualitative survey of police with structured guideline interviews
Qualitative survey of local school bus drivers with structured guideline interviews