Students urged to get active and cycle


Southern River College students Tenuun Sanjaadorj (16) and Ashleigh Saringer (15) out cycling with Year 12 youth co-ordinator Terry Healy and Year 9 youth co-ordinator Ben La Haye. Picture: Will Russell        www.communitypix.com.au   d450133
Southern River College students Tenuun Sanjaadorj (16) and Ashleigh Saringer (15) out cycling with Year 12 youth co-ordinator Terry Healy and Year 9 youth co-ordinator Ben La Haye. Picture: Will Russell        www.communitypix.com.au d450133

According to a survey by the Heart Foundation, nine out of 10 parents believe that cycling is important for children, but 50 per cent of parents believe that children are not safe while riding to school.

Bicycling Western Australia (BWA) is launching a radio campaign with messages reminding drivers to take extra care on the roads, especially now that school is back.

The campaign is also encouraging parents to ride to school with their children.

BWA chief executive Jeremey Murray said it was important that road users watched out for students riding their bikes to school.

Southern River College is one school that has invested heavily in bike racks, with 200 students receiving bikes last year as part of the Happiness Cycle.

School principal Everal Pearse said it encouraged students and staff to ride to school.

“The college would like to see more students engage in cycling and exercise programs to commute to and from school, and also for their own health and exercise,” she said.

“Through health classes, road and bike safety is outlined and the college is also looking to link in further with the City of Gosnells bike safety programs.”

A national cycling participation survey run last year showed WA had higher cycling participation rates than the rest of the country, with 591,800 residents riding in a typical week and 1,113,100 residents riding at least once in a typical year.

In Perth, up to 23 per cent of all personal vehicle trips made during the morning peak are directly associated with taking students to school, and 39 per cent of those vehicles return straight home.

These figures are higher than many comparable cities such as London (20 per cent), Melbourne (17 per cent) and several cities in the United States(10-14 per cent).