ERIC Number: ED152393
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1975-Jan
Reference Count: 0
Children Bicyclists: Should a Minimum Age be Required?
Santa Barbara City Dept. of Public Works, CA. Div. of Transportation.
This paper reports on a Santa Barbara, California study to determine the need for establishing a minimum age for bicyclists using the public roadways, examining the proposition that children below a certain age are developmentally unable to perform safely in traffic. Data on the disproportionate incidence of accident involvement among young cyclists include statistics on fatalities, injuries and cyclist behavior. A general description of the cognitive development process in children is presented, with specific discussion of the development of concepts of speed, time and distance, and the concept of rules. Results of a survey of 1,373 parents of 2,764 children, aged 5 to 13, in which parents selected an average minimum age of about 11 years, indicate good-to-enthusiastic parent support of the minimum age idea. The report concludes: (1) that the cognitive deficiencies associated with the incompletely developed child justify a mimimum age of 13 years or older for cyclists using public roadways and (2) that registration of bicycle operators using public roadways is the best way to enforce this minimum age requirement. An introductory statement by the project director suggests a minimum age requirement of 9 years and presents additional opinions on licensing and bicycle safety education. (BF)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (DOT), Washington, DC.; California State Office of Traffic Safety, Sacramento.
Authoring Institution: Santa Barbara City Dept. of Public Works, CA. Div. of Transportation.