European Road Safety Charter
Good Practice

Good practice submission

  1. Gaeilge
  2. English

Good practice submission

Initiative details

Describe the characteristics of your target audience 
Child cyclists are some of the most vulnerable road users. In 2012 (latest figures available) 5,717 pedal cyclists under the age of 14 were admitted in to hospital in England and Wales compared to 2,294 child pedestrians. These figures are even more startling when you consider almost every child is a pedestrian at some point but not every child is a cyclist. A young cyclist is three times more likely to be killed in a cycling accident on Britain’s roads than an adult cyclist (Transport Research Laboratory). The cycle helmet-wearing rate for adults in the UK is currently 39% but for children it is just 17%. Children cite peer pressure and image concerns as the main reasons they do not wear a helmet as well as cost.Children are so vulnerable because a child’s skull is thinner than an adult’s. An adult skull is approximately 7mmthick whilst that of a 10-year-old child is approximately 4.5mm thick so children have less natural protection than adults. A child’s head is much bigger in proportion to their body than an adult’s making them top heavy so when they do fall off a bike they are more likely to fall head first. The average child does not have the same ability to judge speed and distance as the average adult and does not have the same balance and co-ordination skills. Children by nature are risk takers and therefore are more likely to fall off their bikes and be injured.

Organisation details

Please describe the main road safety challenges/problems you have addressed or are addressing. 
Getting more children and young people to wear a cycle helmet and to adopt other safer cycling measures to reduce the number of child cyclists who are killed and seriously injured in cycling accidents in the UK every year.
What are your objectives? 
To educate children and young people on the benefits and reasoning of wearing a cycle helmet and to teach them the value of personal safety and consequences of injury
To educate children and young people on the benefits of being seen whilst cycling and to promote the use of high visibility clothing importance of using front and rear bike lights and following road rules
To educate parents of young cyclists of the importance of encouraging their children to become safer cyclists by adopting a range of safer cycling measures including cycle training and bicycle maintenance. To give parents the knowledge and skills to do th

Project activities

List the actions you carried/are carrying out 
Name of action 

To implement safer cycling education in primary schools for all Year 5 and 6 children aged 9 to 11 and in secondary schools for all Year 7 and 8 children aged 11 to 13. The programme covers  all aspects of cycling safety including explaining to youngsters why they need to wear a helmet, what their brain enables them to do and why it needs protecting, how to fit a helmet correctly, why it is important to be seen whilst cycling.  The programme will also outline how to cope with being bullied or teased for wearing a helmet and how to deal with the peer pressure not to wear a helmet.

Name of action 

Helmet Watch. In 1999 the Trust launched Helmet Watch – a reward scheme for young cyclists who wear a cycle helmet. For the first 9 years of the scheme, BHIT volunteers and road safety officers throughout England handed out on-the-spot prize envelopes to youngsters aged between 5 and 15 they spotted wearing a cycle helmet. In 2008, the pólice joined forces with the Trust and now Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) hand out more than 30,000 prize envelopes to youngsters in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Every child who is spotted wearing a cycle helmet receives a small on-the-spot prize, a bookmark showing how to fit a helmet correctly, an information card for parents and a prize draw card to enable them to enter a Grand Prize Draw to win one of 15 bigger prizes including bikes, and digital cameras. The scheme is designed to reward good behaviour not to penalise bad behaviour. It is also gives pólice officers the opportunity to interact in a positive way with young people and to demonstrate how to fit a helmet correctly. and offers other road safety Education to children and their families.

Monday, 2 June, 2014 to Sunday, 30 November, 2014
Name of action 

To design, print and distribute 50,000 copies of a safer cycling DVD specially made for parents/carers.  The DVD is currently being filmed and includes interviews with two youngsters, both of whom were injured in cycling accidents, and their parents. One of the boys was wearing a helmet and his injuries were far less severe than those of the boy who was not wearing a helmet. It also includes an interview with and demonstration by a bicycle mechanic who demonstrates basic bicycle maintenance. A Bikeability cycle training provider also talks about the importance of cycle training, the different levels, how to find out about cycle training in your area and what benefits it provides. There is a demonstration on how to fit a helmet correctly and there is an interview with a paediatric psychologist about the pressures of having to conform for youngsters, risk taking behavior amongst teenagers in particular, image concerns and the fear of being teased. There is a message of support from the six time Olympic champion and 11 time World Champion cyclist Sir Chris Hoy and an introduction by the BBC sports presenter Mike Bushell.     The DVD has been developed as children have told us that their parents lack the knowledge on current road safety issues and also need educating.


What has been the effect of the activities? 
A reduction in the number of children who are killed and seriously injured in cycling accidents in the UK. Child Road Casualty figures supplied annually by the Department for Transport every year will show if there has been a reduction or not. Injury data and HES figures (Hospital Episode Statistics) will also reveal how many children have been admitted to hospital with cycling related injuries.
How have you shared information about your project and its results? 
Have they had or are they planning on getting cycle training and do they now know how to fit a cycle helmet. These results will be compared to those taken before the programme was delivered.
How many people did you reach/have you reached? 
Who carried/carries out the evaluation activities? 
Internal evaluation
When did/will you carry out the evaluation? 
Before and after the intervention
How many groups did you evaluate/have you evaluated? 
Number of interventions groups 
Number of control groups 
Please list the indicators you use to measure success 
The number of cycle helmets and bike light sets distributed by the Trust.
Monitoring the cycle helmet wearing rate in the schools that take part in the programme.
Did the children understand the material that was being taught to them?
Did the parents understand the material that was being shown in the DVD?
Please describe the evaluation tools you use (i.e. surveys, interviews, focus groups, etc.) 
The Trust will use Survey Monkey to evaluate data from the questionnaires. It will also use focus groups of parents and children. The focus groups will be used to get feedback on the programmes, Focus groups are particularly useful for the children’s prog