Children are the new cyclists? - teabelly
www.timesonline.co.uk/newspaper/0,,175-1256235,00....l

Some study has suggested that drivers should have to pay for any collision involving children regardless of fault. Isn't this going to lead to more stupid kids playing chicken, getting run over and suing drivers rather than just getting a good slap for being so stupid? Talk about reverse evolution!

I was taught to never, ever, ever step into the road without looking first. What are they teaching kids today? I see them all the time just wandering in the road, no regard for the fact there are moving vehicles around them. This (if it ever gets made law) is going to make the situation even worse. Since when have so many kids become so incompetant on their own that they can't even be trusted to cross a road?

Perhaps the law could be changed so that no child is allowed out unless accompanied by an adult as they clearly can't cope in an urban environment ;-)
teabelly
Children are the new cyclists? - NowWheels
Perhaps the law could be changed so that no child is
allowed out unless accompanied by an adult as they clearly can't
cope in an urban environment ;-)


Or alternatively, that no adult should be allowed out unless accompanied by a child, because too many adults don't seem to understand that children do play outdoors, and may not have signed up the idea of roads-for-cars-only ;-)
Children are the new cyclists? - andymc {P}
(sniff, sniff ...)
I could swear someone was trying to light the blue touch-paper round here just a short while ago.
;o)
--
andymc
Vroom, vroom - mmm, doughnuts ...
Children are the new cyclists? - MichaelR
Or alternatively, that no adult should be allowed out unless >> accompanied
by a child, because too many adults don't seem to understand
that children do play outdoors, and may not have signed up
the idea of roads-for-cars-only ;-)


I suppose you also beleive if a child is playing on a railway line and gets hit by a high speed train, thats the train drivers fault?

Let the darlings play, they may not have signed up to the idea that railways-for-trains-only.
Children are the new cyclists? - NowWheels
I suppose you also beleive if a child is playing on
a railway line and gets hit by a high speed train,
thats the train drivers fault?


Railways are usually fenced off, and there is nearly always a reasonable passge from A to B that doesn't involve walking on a railway line.

On the other hand, there are roads within a few feet of a child's front road. They aren't fenced off, because roads have to be crossed on foot as part of everyday business.

In some places, people not only have to cross roads, they often have to walk a considerable portion of the journey on a road: half of the 300 yards to my corner store has to be on the road, cos there's no footpath.

Too many drivers have come to regard other (i.e. non-vehicular) road-users as an intrusion. Placing on drivers a presumption of responsibility for accidents would have a salutary effect on drivers's attitude to these shared spaces.
Children are the new cyclists? - nortones2
if adults were always acting as adults they would anticipate that non-adults would err, and plan ahead. Clearly many adults do not. As a child I was also told never to walk/run into the road but unfortunately my new yo-yo hadn't been to the lecture - so I went to rescue it. Oops. Matter of priorities, where mine were at variance with Mr Toad. But perhaps Mr Toad just forgotten the imperatives of childhood? And should he?
Children are the new cyclists? - frostbite
So children should be absolved of all responsibility, according to some people?

How do they handle the sudden imposition of total responsibility when their nnth birthday arrives if they have never had any experience?
Children are the new cyclists? - Bromptonaut
How do they handle the sudden imposition of total responsibility when
their nnth birthday arrives if they have never had any experience?


Thats exactly the problem. Kids used to be gradually allowed to range further from home and for longer from around 6 or 7. they had a few scrapes - not all of which reached parental ears - and learned to handle things. This was my way in the 60/70\'s.

I\'d like my kids, 10 and 12 now, to have the same experience. However I get letters from school, youth club, cubs et al telling me that all children are to be collected. Even those who live round the corner. Teacher of son (10) took extensive presuading this morning that he was OK to leave on his own at 11:00 to meet his Mum 200 metres down a path (away from the road) for a doctor\'s appointment.

If we wrap kids up and and don\'t teach them and let them learn by experience before they break the bonds at teenage time we are setting them up for the expereince in the first post.

Children are the new cyclists? - Bromptonaut
Edit button please, missing off switch for bold after the word experience

Sorted. DD
Children are the new cyclists? - HF
And where do we draw the line?

Of course we'd all like for our kids to be as safe as (we thought) we were at their age - but traffic levels *have* gone up, and I have to admit there is no way I would allow my kids out on bikes on main roads. If I'm wrapping them in cotton wool then I can see people's arguments against that, but so be it. I'd rather that than having them splattered against some lorry or other vehicle on the local main road.

I think it's often hard enough to be safe in a car these days, let alone on a bike. If my only choice is between knowing my child is delivered safely to his destination by car, or leaving him to go off on his own by bike, there is no comparison. Green-friendly maybe not, but to me my kids' lives (obviously) come above all else.
Children are the new cyclists? - Mark (RLBS)
And what happens when they move away from home and go on a main road on a bicycle for the first time ? Might have been better to gain experience under a watchful eye when they were younger.
Children are the new cyclists? - wemyss
I was only thinking on this subject yesterday as I walked through town at school closing time. There is a large 6th form school and the children? coming out are greeted by a row of coaches parked yards from the school gate.
The ones who don't use them proceed then to cross a normal town road. These children many over 6ft tall are escorted across this road by a lollipop man. He is an OAP little over 5ft tall holding the traffic up to let them over. He totters out with his lollipop stick to stop the traffic and is then submerged by these young giants who he is protecting.
It looks so ludicrous to me that at an age of 16 to 18 when in the past they were either at work or perhaps even in the forces they need to be taken safely across the road.
They should be escorting him across the road came into my mind.



Children are the new cyclists? - SteveH42
I recall a few months back when I was down in Gosport and was starting home at school kicking-out time. Was there a parent in a car to be seen? No. Were there hordes of coaches? No. Were there hundreds of kids walking and cycling happily home? Yes.

Granted the roads were more open and wider here but maybe other schools have something to learn?

Diverging slightly on to another topic, it has struck me for a while that what would be nice to see is dedicated cycle routes. Not just lines painted in existing roads, but actual routes taking short cuts and avoiding traffic completely. Let's face it, cyclists do get in the way of cars and even though they have a right to be on the road it would be safer all round if we didn't have to dodge them and they didn't have to be in constant fear of some prat being too impatient. Dedicated routes away from all this could prove very popular and could also be extended to a system around schools where the kids could walk and cycle away from traffic rather than their parents generating more.
Children are the new cyclists? - volvoman
Children, especially young ones, are largely the product of their parents. If those parents don't have the sense they were born with and act accordingly it's hardly the fault of their offspring is it. Yes, kids do stupid, unpredictable, things just like adults do. The difference is that having passed through childhood adults ought to know better and make allowances for those who don't have the benefit of their experience.
As to who should be responsible in the event of an accident I don't think it's wise to apply the concept of automatic liability but do think that adults in general need to take on board their responsibilities to others more.
Children are the new cyclists? - PhilW
"Teacher of son (10) took extensive persuading this morning that he was OK to leave on his own at 11:00 to meet his Mum 200 metres down a path (away from the road) for a doctor's appointment."
And the reason? Not because teacher is afraid that your son is incapable of looking after himself but because the teacher is responsible for your son during school hours. What if your son was spinning a yarn? Teacher lets son out of school, mum was not there because son was truanting, not going to meet mum, teacher is responsible. Not that your son would do that but thousands would!! Not well known, but many schools are held responsible for all pupils for half an hour after school finishes. Why? So that they can try to establish some discipline with regard to behaviour on school buses. This also means that schools are responsible for the behaviour of those pupils who are not on school buses. Pupils gets run over by car in that half hour - who is responsible for not supervising him properly? The school.
That's why schools will not let pupil's out of school "to meet mum 200 metres down the path". Meet Mum,? He could be doing anything - perhaps you should meet some of these wonderful pupils! Some are right little !!!!!?????
Anyway, why couldn't mum walk 200 metres to collect son and clear it with teacher??
Here's another Q. How would you feel if teacher released your son to meet mother 200 metres away when there was no doctor's appointment and no mother 200 metres away?
Sorry to go on, but my wife deals with kids you wouldn't trust if they were 2 centimetres out of sight let alone 200 metres - and she no longer leaves her handbag 2 cm out of sight since it disappeared during a lesson and her credit cards and bank cards were used by the known thief but the police were unable to do anything about it. Do you have to lock up your wallet at work? Do the people you work with threaten to to beat you up, burn down your house, tell you to f... off every five minutes rather than sit down and learn something? Do the people you work with rob your workplace of anything that isn't nailed down? That's the reality of many schools these days.That's why that teacher was a little circumspect in letting a pupil meet someone 200 metres down the road.

Children are the new cyclists? - Bromptonaut
Phil,

Wasn't trying to "diss" the teacher, sorry if it came over that way. Mercifully we are free of the sort of behaviour you describe, though my partner met it in spades in her time teaching in Inner London. It was she who mentioned the appointment when dropping him off. Letting him organise himself to leave class on time (after asking permish) and walk 200 metres from school to surgery is one of our strategies for introducing him to the idea of taking responsibility for his own life. Teacher's reticence was purely about whether she needed take him to the gate and watch him.

It's one of many examples I could have quoted of how it now seems counter cultural to introduce responsibility to the pre teens. I just hope that by doing it now they're a bit more prepared later and not so prone to being lemmings on the road as Teabelly describes in the first post.



Children are the new cyclists? - Robin Reliant
While we all have a responsibility to look out for the more vulnarable road users such as childeren, I think we over react to the headlines a little. The chances of a child being in an accident with a car get progressively smaller as the years go on, children today being much more aware of the dangers of traffic, having grown up with it. So to talk about the roads being less safe "These days", we must remember that in terms of serious and fatal accidents to pedestrians they have actually become safer. Or people have become more concious of the risk, which ever.

I don't know the exact figures, but back in the sixties for example, child road deaths were much higher than they are today despite the massive increase in traffic.
Children are the new cyclists? - Thommo
Steve H,

Such cycle paths exist in Milton Keynes, they are called redways and very nice they are too. Shame about the city that surrounds them...
Children are the new cyclists? - NowWheels
I don't know the exact figures, but back in the sixties
for example, child road deaths were much higher than they are
today despite the massive increase in traffic.


A massive increase in trafic, but a masive decrease in child mobility. As the roads have become more dangerous, children are much less likely to be allowed out to walk or cycle or to play on the street. As a result, the UK has one the lowest levels of independent child mobility in Europe.

I don't know the precise figures, but I'd be surpised if child accident rates per mile walked or cycled have declined -- they may well have gone up.
Children are the new cyclists? - teabelly
The death rate per mile for a pedestrian is about 10x that of a car driver. Much safer if we go by car :-) The death rate for bus travel is much lower than cars but I suppose if we have to walk to a bus stop it might negate the benefits!

Children aren't allowed out either because of parents being worried about child abduction. I think some parents see that as a bigger (and completely out of proportion) threat than that from traffic.
teabelly
Children are the new cyclists? - NowWheels
The death rate per mile for a pedestrian is about 10x
that of a car driver. Much safer if we go by
car :-)


Time for 4-year-olds to get driving licenses? ;-)
Children are the new cyclists? - Robin Reliant
If the overall figure for casualties has declined, and it is because of increased traffic then I think you would find most parents would be happy for that increase. Better a kid who could do with a bit more excercise than a dead or handicapped one.

I think you would find that a major reason for the reduction in children being involved in road accidents is that from when they first venture out they are aware of how busy the roads are, and although capable of acts of impulsiveness they have a surprisingly high survival instinct.
 

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