Road safety experts worried as Dutch children stop cycling

An increasing number of children cannot cycle properly, particularly in the bigger cities, according to traffic safety body Veilig Verkeer Nederland.

Fewer primary school children are taking cycling proficiency tests and parents are increasingly taking their children to school by car, VVN says.

According to the AD, transport minister Melanie Schultz wants local authorities to ensure all primary schools include cycling proficiency tests in their curriculum.

Schools are ditching the tests because too few children cycle to school. ‘They can’t cycle or don’t have a bike,’ a spokesman said.


Cycling instructor Ronald Wittenberg told the paper the Netherlands has a ‘back seat generation’.

‘Parents take their children to school by car because they have to go on to work,’ he said. ‘All those cars make the situation around schools more dangerous and so fewer parents send their kids to school by bike.’

Figures from the national statistics office CBS show the number of children killed in cycling accidents is going up. In 2010 nine children were killed in a bike accident but last year that had risen to 13.