Viewpoint : April 2015

Certificat cycliste averti :
Preparing the cyclists of tomorrow

Despite the media reports, there was not a record number of cycling accidents in 2014. In fact, there were significantly fewer cyclists killed or seriously injured compared to 2013. However, this alarmist rhetoric has many concerned, particularly parents. It makes us think that the practice of biking among children, which declined by 9% between 2005 and 2010, may taper off even further. Is this the result of excessive media exposure, overprotective parents or a combination of both?

In order to reverse this trend and focus on the more positive aspects of biking, Vélo Québec decided to create the Certificat cycliste averti, a cycling education program aimed at grade 5 and 6 elementary students. Inspired by best practices abroad, it is designed to make them independent and safety-conscious when biking to and from school, but also to reassure parents about their children’s ability to get around safely.

Currently implemented as a pilot project in five Montréal schools, the program involves the homeroom teachers, who provide students with the basics of biking road safety, as well as the physical education teachers, who are responsible for developing their motor skills. The program is applied in a real-life setting: students take part in a group outing, supervised by professional trainers, during which they are evaluated individually for the purpose of obtaining their certificate. We are working to have this program implemented as quickly as possible throughout Québec. 

A bit of good news to herald the spring biking season!

Suzanne Lareau
President and CEO