Yesterday we organised the yearly traffic test for pupils in Driebergen, my home town. Almost all 10 year old children in Driebergen take part in this voluntarily test. Passing the test is not required to take part in traffic as a cyclist, but it raises confidence with the children, and their parents. It’s fun to see how the kids are very nervous for the test. They are eager to pass the test, as it gives them a license to access the grown up world.
The test starts with an close examination of the bike. Is it solid and is it ok to ride it in traffic? Sometimes the bel is broken, or lights are not working. A good chance to tell the pupils why it is important to have a good bicycle, and what can happen if you don’t care for your bike. After the bicycle examination a 6 km route must be ridden. At 10 spots observers watch the behave of the examinees. Of course children are allowed to make faults, but the limit is 5 points. This year, over 230 children took part in the traffic test, last year only 1 pupil failed. I think we can be proud on these results, the younsters know how to behave.
The biggest challenge is that they use the learned skills also when not observed. Dutch traffic seems that safe they often forget the rules and put themselve in danger. Thanks to the awareness of car drivers, who were once jung too, traffic is still safe in the Netherlands.
Update: The results of the test were also this year pretty good: 259 pupils did the test, only one failed. 108 pupils didn’t make any mistake at all. Most common mistakes are made at left turns (not looking behind) and not showing directions.