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SafeKids Canada report

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  • Darrell Noakes
    A new report says that injury-related deaths among children 14 and under have fallen since 1994, but Canadian kids still face many hazards. Safe Kids Canada
    Message 1 of 10 , Jun 2, 2006
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      A new report says that injury-related deaths among children 14 and under
      have fallen since 1994, but Canadian kids still face many hazards. Safe
      Kids Canada released its first national survey on child safety on Thursday.

      Part of the report states that children under 10 must not be allowed to
      ride on the road. It was my impression that children between 8 and 10
      are capable of riding on the road in some traffic environments and under
      supervision.

      Does anyone know of any research or experience in this area, besides the
      one reference cited in the report? Is anyone familiar with the cited
      reference?

      On page 18, the SafeKids report states:
      "Keep children under age 10 off the road. Riding a bike near motor
      vehicles requires a complex set of skills that children develop slowly
      between ages 10 and 14. (114) They must be able to balance the bike,
      signal, and pay attention to vehicles at the same time. A child’s brain
      cannot manage this combination of physical and mental skills before age
      10, at the earliest. The ability to juggle these tasks around traffic
      may be a particular challenge for children in a high-risk situation."

      Download the report here:
      http://www.sickkids.ca/SKCForPartners/custom/SKW06NationalReportENG.pdf

      The reference cited (114) is: Leblanc J, Huybers S. “Improving Bicycle
      Safety: The Role of Pediatricians and Family Physicians.” Paediatric
      Child Health 2004; 9(5):315-318. The abstract states:
      Cycling is a complex activity requiring motor, sensory and cognitive
      skills that develop at different rates from childhood to adolescence.
      While children can successfully ride a two-wheeled bicycle at age five
      or six, judgment of road hazards are poor at that age and matures slowly
      until adult-like judgment is reached in early adolescence. Safe cycling
      depends on the care, skills and judgment of cyclists and motorists;
      roadway design that promotes safe coexistence of bicycles and motor
      vehicles; and the use of safety devices, including bicycle helmets,
      lights and reflective tape. Whereas, research into optimal roadway
      design and educational programs for drivers to improve road safety has
      yielded contradictory results, the benefits of bicycle helmet use and
      programs to enhance their use have been clearly shown. This paper has
      the following objectives for paediatricians and family physicians:
      1. To understand the relationship between bicycle safety and children’s
      motor and cognitive skills.
      2. To understand the effectiveness and limitations of strategies to
      improve bicycle safety.
      3. To describe activities to promote bicycle safety that physicians can
      undertake in clinical settings and in the community.



      --


      Darrell Noakes
      Saskatoon, SK CANADA
      www.BorealisOutdoor.com <http://www.BorealisOutdoor.com>
      www.SaskatoonCyclingClub.ca <http://www.SaskatoonCyclingClub.ca>
      Skype me! <callto://BorealisOutdoor>

      Saskatoon Shines! <http://www.tourismsaskatoon.com/>
    • Michael Graff
      ... Oops, I guess that makes me a Bad Father. My kids were way younger than 10 when they first took to the streets with me, as I taught them the basics of VC.
      Message 2 of 10 , Jun 2, 2006
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        On 6/2/06, Darrell Noakes <borealis@...> wrote:

        > Part of the report states that children under 10 must not be allowed to
        > ride on the road.

        Oops, I guess that makes me a Bad Father. My kids were way younger
        than 10 when they first took to the streets with me, as I taught them
        the basics of VC.
      • Darrell Noakes
        A regular cyclist I know, who is a traffic engineer, cycles on the the road regularly with his 5-yr-old son. I m sure this will help his son become a competent
        Message 3 of 10 , Jun 2, 2006
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          A regular cyclist I know, who is a traffic engineer, cycles on the the
          road regularly with his 5-yr-old son. I'm sure this will help his son
          become a competent cyclist at an early age. Earlier today, while out for
          a ride shortly after reading the SafeKids report, I happened upon a
          group of five students riding home from school. All appeared to be under
          age 10, and they were riding quite competently (surprisingly so,
          considering local cycling culture) on a busy street.

          I still would like to know if there's been any research on this subject,
          something that would shed light on why SafeKids would make such a
          sweeping statement.


          Darrell Noakes
          Saskatoon, SK CANADA
          www.BorealisOutdoor.com <http://www.BorealisOutdoor.com>
          www.SaskatoonCyclingClub.ca <http://www.SaskatoonCyclingClub.ca>
          Skype me! <callto://BorealisOutdoor>

          Saskatoon Shines! <http://www.tourismsaskatoon.com/>



          Michael Graff wrote:
          > On 6/2/06, Darrell Noakes <borealis@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          >> Part of the report states that children under 10 must not be allowed to
          >> ride on the road.
          >>
          >
          > Oops, I guess that makes me a Bad Father. My kids were way younger
          > than 10 when they first took to the streets with me, as I taught them
          > the basics of VC.
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
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        • Darrell Noakes
          I was just thinking -- at age six and seven I rode to school every day along British Columbia Highway #3, a major highway through the southern interior of the
          Message 4 of 10 , Jun 2, 2006
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            I was just thinking -- at age six and seven I rode to school every day
            along British Columbia Highway #3, a major highway through the southern
            interior of the province. Of course, things were different then. The
            school was (and still is) inside a triangle bounded by two highways and
            a chemical plant. The firemen used to visit the school to teach us about
            handling explosives. Nonetheless, I clearly remember riding to school by
            following the rules of the road. Last summer, I was driving the
            Similkameen and saw groups of children riding on Hwy 3 after school.
            Unlike the group I saw today, I did not see them interact with crossing
            and turning traffic, but they seemed to be doing all right. While
            travelling to Pro Bike 2004 in Victoria, BC (in the company of the same
            traffic engineer who lets his 5-yr-old son ride on the road), I spent
            some time on Salt Spring Island. It was the first week of school and
            there were hundreds of children riding bikes on the highways. A lot of
            them were under age 10 and many appeared to be shepherding siblings as
            young as six or seven.

            So I have to wonder: What's the rationale for providing the kind of
            advice that appears in yesterday's report?


            Darrell Noakes
            Saskatoon, SK CANADA
            www.BorealisOutdoor.com <http://www.BorealisOutdoor.com>
            www.SaskatoonCyclingClub.ca <http://www.SaskatoonCyclingClub.ca>
            Skype me! <callto://BorealisOutdoor>

            Saskatoon Shines! <http://www.tourismsaskatoon.com/>



            Michael Graff wrote:
            > Oops, I guess that makes me a Bad Father. My kids were way younger
            > than 10 when they first took to the streets with me, as I taught them
            > the basics of VC.
          • John Forester
            Darrell Noakes asked, about the Safe Kids Canada 2006 report and the referenced article Improving Bicycle Safety ... Does anyone know of any research or
            Message 5 of 10 , Jun 2, 2006
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              Darrell Noakes asked, about the Safe Kids Canada 2006 report and the
              referenced article "Improving Bicycle Safety ..." "Does anyone know
              of any research or experience in this area, besides the one reference
              cited in the report? Is anyone familiar with the cited reference?"

              Look on my website, johnforester.com, under Articles, Education, and
              the Elementary School Program and Intermediate School Program. It's
              all been done before, decades before, of course.

              The Safe Kids paragraph and the referenced article were written by
              people who know nothing about traffic cycling but are full of theory
              about what degree of maturity is required for what they think traffic
              cycling is. Children aged 8 can ride properly on two-lane roads,
              children aged 10 can ride on medium speed four-lane roads, children
              aged 13 have the skills to ride anywhere, each with about 15 class
              hours of training, and verified by traffic cycling tests on real
              roads in real traffic.

              John Forester, MS, PE
              Bicycle Transportation Engineer
              7585 Church St.
              Lemon Grove, CA 91945-2306
              619-644-5481 www.johnforester.com
            • CRKJLAW@aol.com
              In a message dated 6/2/2006 7:10:08 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, michael.graff@pobox.com writes: Oops, I guess that makes me a Bad Father. My kids were way
              Message 6 of 10 , Jun 5, 2006
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                In a message dated 6/2/2006 7:10:08 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
                michael.graff@... writes:

                Oops, I guess that makes me a Bad Father. My kids were way younger
                than 10 when they first took to the streets with me, as I taught them
                the basics of VC.




                Same here. Around about 7-8, children start untieing the apron strings and
                start going off with friends. Unless we begin elementary VC training early and
                setting boundaries as to where a child may ride based on the individual and
                environment, the first road lessons these kids will receive will be from their
                youthful peers.

                Chris Law


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Doug Huffman
                I suspect, from the name similarity, that this is a parallel of an American effort. I am familiar with the American organization from its efforts to disarm
                Message 7 of 10 , Jun 5, 2006
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                  I suspect, from the name similarity, that this is a parallel of an American
                  effort. I am familiar with the American organization from its efforts to
                  disarm good people. http://www.safekids.org/com SafeKids may have also
                  addressed the hell-mutt controversy.

                  The Godfather of Republican talk-radio envisions a parallel organization,
                  the Keep Our Own Kids Safe campaign - the KOOKS campaign - and covering
                  such divers topics as football and soccer safety.

                  The conspiracy of ignorance masquerades as common sense.

                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: <CRKJLAW@...>
                  To: <chainguard@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Monday, June 05, 2006 9:51 AM
                  Subject: Re: [CG] SafeKids Canada report



                  In a message dated 6/2/2006 7:10:08 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
                  michael.graff@... writes:

                  Oops, I guess that makes me a Bad Father. My kids were way younger
                  than 10 when they first took to the streets with me, as I taught them
                  the basics of VC.




                  Same here. Around about 7-8, children start untieing the apron strings and
                  start going off with friends. Unless we begin elementary VC training early
                  and
                  setting boundaries as to where a child may ride based on the individual and
                  environment, the first road lessons these kids will receive will be from
                  their
                  youthful peers.

                  Chris Law


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]







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                • Darrell Noakes
                  What concerns me about publications such as the Safe Kids report is that if they remain unchallenged in the public record, they become the de facto standard.
                  Message 8 of 10 , Jun 5, 2006
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                    What concerns me about publications such as the Safe Kids report is that
                    if they remain unchallenged in the public record, they become the de
                    facto standard. Anyone who endorses a dissenting view of cyclists'
                    capability or, worse, actually teaches children to ride bikes is seen as
                    negligent.

                    I get the impression that most members of this list disagree with the
                    conclusion of the Safe Kids report. I have not seen the single study
                    which supports the conclusion, only its abstract. Yet, there appears to
                    be ample evidence disputing it. Unfortunately the evidence always seems
                    to be discussed in closed forums such as this list and is not made
                    available to a wider audience. As the public is increasingly exposed to
                    the absurd claims of recognized safety "experts", the real experts -
                    people who actually know and understand cycling - are pushed to the fringe.

                    I first became aware of the Safe Kids report through a story on the
                    Canadian Broadcasting Corporation website. The CBC encourages feedback
                    and publishes audience responses to its stories. The Safe Kids statement
                    really deserves a response, so I hope that members of this list will
                    take a few moments to visit the website and offer their opinions.

                    CBC story:
                    http://www.cbc.ca/story/science/national/2006/06/01/children-safety.html

                    Audience feedback is solicited from "Send your feedback" links above and
                    below the story:
                    http://www.cbc.ca/news/feedback/index.html?CBC%20News:%20Deaths%20from%20preventable%20injuries%20down%20for%20kids:%20report

                    You can download the Safe Kids report from a link on the CBC page:
                    Child & Youth Unintentional Injury: 10 Years in Review, Safe Kids Canada
                    (in .pdf format)
                    http://www.sickkids.ca/SKCForPartners/custom/SKW06NationalReportENG.pdf



                    Darrell Noakes
                    Saskatoon, SK CANADA
                    www.BorealisOutdoor.com <http://www.BorealisOutdoor.com>
                    www.SaskatoonCyclingClub.ca <http://www.SaskatoonCyclingClub.ca>
                    Skype me! <callto://BorealisOutdoor>

                    Saskatoon Shines! <http://www.tourismsaskatoon.com/>



                    CRKJLAW@... wrote:
                    >
                    > In a message dated 6/2/2006 7:10:08 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
                    > michael.graff@... writes:
                    >
                    > Oops, I guess that makes me a Bad Father. My kids were way younger
                    > than 10 when they first took to the streets with me, as I taught them
                    > the basics of VC.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Same here. Around about 7-8, children start untieing the apron strings and
                    > start going off with friends. Unless we begin elementary VC training early and
                    > setting boundaries as to where a child may ride based on the individual and
                    > environment, the first road lessons these kids will receive will be from their
                    > youthful peers.
                    >
                    > Chris Law
                    >
                  • Schubley@aol.com
                    Hi all, One of my typically late replies follows. ... Thursday. ... ride on the road. It was my impression that children between 8 and 10 are capable of riding
                    Message 9 of 10 , Jun 16, 2006
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                      Hi all,

                      One of my typically late replies follows.

                      Two weeks ago, Darrell Noakes wrote:

                      >>>Safe Kids Canada released its first national survey on child safety on
                      Thursday.

                      >>>Part of the report states that children under 10 must not be allowed to
                      ride on the road. It was my impression that children between 8 and 10 are
                      capable of riding on the road in some traffic environments and under supervision.

                      Does anyone know of any research or experience in this area...<<<

                      I'm forced to disagree partially with John Forester's answer, which read, in
                      part, "Children aged 8 can ride properly on two-lane roads, children aged 10
                      can ride on medium speed four-lane roads, children aged 13 have the skills to
                      ride anywhere, each with about 15 class hours of training..."

                      The root of my disagreement: children are like snowflakes. No two are the
                      same. And they differ markedly in the kind of mental maturation that allows
                      one to ride a bike safely.

                      Even in the absence of traffic, there is a lot of multi-tasking to be done on
                      a bike. You have to balance, maintain an appropriate position on the
                      pavement, stay pointed in the right direction, navigate, and actuate your brakes,
                      and maybe your shift levers too. For some 8-year-olds, this is simply too much
                      stuff to juggle.

                      Forester has often told us about the classes he's successfully taught, but
                      I'll guarantee you I can send him plenty of kids who he'd have trouble teaching.
                      I have experience with kids who simply couldn't ride at their age level,
                      until they grew older and their maturation caught up. There are a lot of kids
                      with galloping ADD or various learning problems, just as there are a lot of kids
                      who can plug into Forester's teaching successfully.

                      So where dwant, which is ability, however acquired (by CAN-bike training, or
                      by a combination of maturation through aging and observation of the cycling
                      environment, which is all most people could ever envision).

                      I think I was seven the first time I rode my 20-inch bike, the one with
                      solid-rubber tires, the two miles from my house to the downtown. It seemed like
                      quite the expedition to me at the time. I valued the independence greatly, and
                      I do not lightly suggest that independence should be curtailed. Nonetheless,
                      society values safety more than it did back then.

                      Darrell, can you get anywhere by approaching Safe Kids Canada and offering
                      them a better alternative? Tell them that what their report should say is that
                      _untrained_ children (no age given) should be directed to training, and that
                      children who successfully pass their training can have a safety rate better
                      than many adults.

                      I smell an overly broad, overly restrictive law approaching, and it would
                      really be nice to offer an alternative.

                      John Schubert
                    • Michael Poplawski
                      ... Having read this, I have a question, and that is, what is the justification for driving ages for motor vehicles, and how is it determined? I suspect that a
                      Message 10 of 10 , Jun 21, 2006
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                        On 6/16/06, Schubley@... <Schubley@...> wrote:
                        > Darrell, can you get anywhere by approaching Safe Kids Canada and offering
                        > them a better alternative? Tell them that what their report should say is that
                        > _untrained_ children (no age given) should be directed to training, and that
                        > children who successfully pass their training can have a safety rate better
                        > than many adults.
                        >
                        > I smell an overly broad, overly restrictive law approaching, and it would
                        > really be nice to offer an alternative.

                        Having read this, I have a question, and that is, what is the
                        justification for driving ages for motor vehicles, and how is it
                        determined? I suspect that a jurisdiction's driving age is an age at
                        which society can expect a certain percentage of people to have the
                        faculties to operate a motor vehicle.

                        Personally, I could live with an age restriction for cycling to be
                        that where x% of people are able to achieve a certain level of
                        proficiency. I like the idea that people under a certain age are not
                        permitted to ride on the streets, and I would take it even further,
                        that people without demonstrable skill could not ride on the streets.

                        If my attitude seems exclusionary, it's because I've seen what happens
                        when the typical cyclist is considered by society to be incompetent,
                        in terms of legislation and facility construction. Incompetent
                        cyclists are excluded from efficient and safe road design and
                        maintenance and equitable laws, and the competent cyclists are swept
                        up with them.

                        --
                        Mike Poplawski
                        Victoria, BC Canada
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