Good Practices Guide
for Bicycle Safety Education
This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the Department of
Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The United Stated Government
assumes no liability for its contents or use thereof. The contents of this document
do not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.
The United States Government does not endorse products or manufacturers.
Trade and manufacturers' names may appear in this document only because they
are considered essential to the object of the document.
Publication number: FHWA-SA-02-001
Table of Contents
Background and Purpose [Table
In 1998, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) convened a steering group
of bicycle safety experts and developed the National Bicycle Safety Education
Curriculum. This Curriculum lists several bicycle safety education topics and
target audiences cyclists of different ages and abilities, as well as
motorists. A Resource Catalog was developed which identifies and describes bicycle
safety education programs that address these curriculum topics and target audiences.
This Resource Catalog has been converted to a searchable, online database that
is available at the following internet address: www.bicyclinginfo.org/ee/fhwa.html.
The FHWA has determined that good practices can be drawn from some of the educational
resources identified in the resource catalog/database. The FHWA conducted in-depth
interviews with bicycle safety educators, developed case studies, and summarized
the results as good practices. The Good Practices Guide will be useful to those
who plan to develop bicycle safety education programs, as well as those who
are looking for the ideal existing bicycle safety program to use in their community.
The purpose of the Good Practices Guide is to serve as an informational resource
for educators and other interested professionals in planning and developing
bicycle safety education programs. The Guide examines 15 existing bicycle safety
education programs in the United States and one from Canada.
The FHWA would like to acknowledge the assistance of the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the development of this document. FHWA and
NHTSA developed a formal partnership in 1998 to produce and oversee implementation
of an intermodal plan to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety, promote bicycling
and walking as alternative modes of transportation, and support ongoing livability
Structure of the Good Practices Guide
The Good Practices Guide consists of three primary sections: Case Studies,
Good Practices, and Conclusion.
- Case Studies This section includes a brief introduction that
describes the selection of case studies, the interview method, a case study
index, and the case studies. The case studies provide specific examples of
how educators have developed bicycle safety programs.
- Planning Your Program This section describes lessons that
can be learned from the bicycle safety education programs surveyed and provides
a holistic view of the different strategies and issues that should be considered
while developing a bicycle safety education program. The section is organized
into six topic areas:
- Funding Your Program
- Bicycle Safety Education and Public Schools
- Developing Partnerships
- Alternative Venues and Subjects
- Evaluation Methods
- Conclusion This section summarizes the major issues that should
be considered when developing a bicycle safety education course.
A list of bicycle safety program sponsors was identified as potential interviewees.
This list was developed with the assistance of FHWA, NHTSA, the League of American
Bicyclists, and individual bicycle safety experts. Program sponsors were then
contacted and interviewed using a pre-established set of questions. Sixteen
interviews were developed into case studies.
Interview Method [Table of Contents]
During the interviews, various bicycle-related topics were emphasized. However,
all interviews included the following questions:
- What is the program title?
- What is the target audience?
- When did the program begin?
- What is the time duration of instruction?
- What are the learning topics?
- What is the method of instruction?
- What learning materials or resources are provided to the participants?
- Are there evaluation methods? What are they?
- What is the funding method of the program?
- What are the elements of the program that make it successful?
- What are the elements of the program that prove challenging?
- What recruiting or publicity methods are used for the program?
Quick Reference [Table
Sixteen case studies of bicycle safety programs are organized under the following
|Elementary, Middle, and/or High School Age Programs: [Return to Quick Reference] [Table
| BikeEd Hawaii
||One week (five 45-minute sessions) on-bike program for fourth grade students
Education Program (BSE)
||One-hour classroom presentation for third through fifth grade students
||45-minute classroom presentation for kindergarten through fifth grade
and Awareness Program
||Seven- to ten-hour on-bike program for fourth through seventh grade students
|Kids on Bikes
||Two-hour classroom/on-bike program for elementary school-age children
|After School Bike
||Eight 90 minute on-bike sessions for middle school-age children
|Bike Lesson and
Safety Training Program (BLAST)
||Two-hour classroom/on-bike program for elementary, middle school, and
high school-age students
|Earn a Bike and
||18 hours working in program bicycle shop, six hours working on own bicycle,
and 20 hours of safety instruction (ten weeks, two hours per week) for upper-elementary-age
through high school-age youths
||Flexible ten-week program (two one-hour sessions per week) for elementary
through high school-age students
Adult Programs: [Return to Quick Reference] [Table
||20 hours (five four-hour sessions) on-bike program for adults (primarily)
Train-the-Trainer Programs: [Return to Quick Reference] [Table
Project (Instructor Training)
||One-day workshop instructing bicycle safety for teachers of fourth and
and Bicycle Safety Education Program
||One- to two-day workshops for school teachers and community trainers to
serve as instructors for grades K-2, grades 3-5, grades 6-8, and drivers
Brain Avoid the Pain© Helmet Education Program
||90-minute program for teachers of primary, elementary, and middle school
|Nevada Elementary Traffic
Safety Program Instructor Course
||Two-day workshop for law enforcement officers, teachers, and other community
volunteers who teach bicycle safety to children of any age
||One-day workshop for bicycle safety instructors, including police officers,
school teachers and others who instruct elementary and middle school students
|Home to School
Safe Travel for Children (Train-the-Trainer course)
||Two-day workshop for teachers, police officers, fire department staff,
and other professionals who teach bicycle and pedestrian safety to children
Elementary, Middle, and/or High School-Age
Programs [Return to Quick Reference] [Table
- Program title: BikeEd Hawaii
[Return to Quick Reference]
Organization: Hawaii Bicycling League (HBL)
Contact: Andie Watt, Program Director
Contact information: 808-735-5756, email@example.com
Web site: www.hbl.org
Program start date: 1989
Target audience: Fourth grade students
Program length: One week (five 45-minute sessions)
Program summary: BikeEd Hawaii is a one-week course consisting of five
45-minute sessions taught to fourth graders in elementary schools by instructors
from the Hawaii Bicycling League. Seven to ten students are matched with each
instructor. The program is free to schools and students. Bicycles and helmets
are loaned to students for the course.
The first session takes place in the school playground or parking lot. It
includes a bicycle check which determines if the tires, handlebars, seat,
and brakes are functional and safe. It also includes a student group ride
with stopping, starting, and turning drills. These drills help determine which
children may not operate a bicycle safely in a group and are therefore ineligible
to go on street rides. Such students may later be determined fit to participate
in street rides during later sessions, or they may continue with the course
on school grounds.
In the second and third sessions, the eligible students go on the road while
the remaining students stay on school grounds. They learn and practice five
- Driveway exit (entering traffic)
- Left and right turns
- Stop sign behavior
- U - turns
- Lane positioning
The fourth session is an on-road review of the five skills learned during
the second and third sessions. The fifth session is a road test in which
each student must demonstrate the five learned skills.
These lessons are based on the Effective Cycling/Road I course available
from the League of American Bicyclists.
Evaluation: There is a written pre-test and post-test consisting
of the same 20 questions. Generally, the students post-test score
improves an average of 15 percent over the pre-test score.
Funding: Funding comes from a variety of sources. Startup funds for
one year were provided in 1989 from Section 402 Traffic Safety Funds from
the U.S. Department of Transportation through the Hawaii State DOT. To sustain
the program after that, funding has been provided annually from the City
and County of Honolulu. This support requires an annual written report of
program results that includes the number of students reached, evaluation
results, and a narrative summary program assessment. In addition to the
grant funding, revenue from city bicycle licensing fees is contributed to
Publicity: Initially, schools were individually contacted but popularity
of the program spread by word of mouth. This popularity has led to a busy
program schedule, and schools must now make reservations about one year
Successes: The program has been enthusiastically received by most
schools and students. Student attendance rates are generally highest in
a school during its BikeEd week. When students have success in BikeEd, their
enthusiasm appears to carry over into other school topics. During the last
two school years (1999-2000 and 2000-2001), two teams were teaching in the
schools. This allowed 8,000 students to be reached each year. In previous
years, only one team taught the program, resulting in 4,000 students reached
Instructors who are experienced cyclists are often the most effective because
they bring with them enthusiasm for bicycling. Also, instructors who communicate
well with children often are successful because they are able to maintain
the students attention.
Challenges: Bicycle rodeos previously conducted by the HBL were found
not to be as effective as on-road activities. Bicycle-handling skills learned
at the rodeos did not transfer to on-road behavior as readily as the skills
learned in the BikeEd program.
- Program title: Bicycle Safety Education Program
(BSE) [Return to Quick Reference]
Organization: Bicycle Coalition of Maine (BCM)
Contact: Jeff Miller, Program Director
Contact information: 207-623-4511, bcm@BikeMaine.org
Web site: www.BikeMaine.org
Program start date: 2000
Target audience: Third through fifth grade students
Program length: One-hour presentation
Program summary: In the Spring of 2000, the Maine Department of Transportation
began funding the Bicycle Safety Education Program (BSE), which is taught
in elementary schools. During the 2000-2001 school year, over 15,000 fourth
and fifth graders participated in bicycle safety classes at 108 schools statewide.
The program consists of a 45-minute to one-hour classroom presentation by
an adult instructor trained by BCMs Bicycle Safety Instructor program.
The instructor is equipped with a bicycle, helmet, and other safety props,
and begins the presentation by asking questions like "What do you like
about biking?" "Can you be hurt by biking?" and "Do you
know all the rules for safely riding a bicycle?" The instructor proceeds
to discuss the following four main topics:
- Correct bicycle helmet fit using the "Eyes, Ears, Mouth Test"
- Dressing for safety
- How to do the "ABC Quick Check" on your bicycle
- Rules, laws, and safe bicycle driving tips
Instructors try to put a positive spin on biking, stressing that its benefits
far outweigh its risks. Instructors use cue cards developed for the BSE.
The students are also given the following handouts:
- Attractive small color poster, "Be a Safe Bike Driver," reinforcing
the classroom presentation with tips on how to practice with their parents
- Copy of A to Z by Bike a 30-page illustrated book covering all
aspects of bicycle safety
- Share the Road brochure for parents with safety tips for both bicyclists
- Bright yellow "Share the Road" bicycle/helmet sticker
- Other BCM and AAA bicycle safety publications
Follow-up activities are also encouraged to increase retention of the
safety lessons taught. Each school has a designated School
Bicycle Safety Coordinator with whom instructors spend about a half hour
of one-on-one time. Instructors discuss how discounted helmets can be ordered
through the Maine Coalition for Safe Children. They provide instructions
on proper helmet fitting as well as additional resources such as a bicycle
events calendar and bicycle-related classroom activity suggestions that
could be used in other curriculum topics. Suggestions for follow-up activities
include a poster drawing, science fair projects, and writing assignments
relating to bicycling.
Evaluation: School teachers and administrators complete evaluation
feedback forms that describe the clarity of the lessons, how successful
the learning appeared to be, and general reactions to the class.
Funding: Funding is provided by a Federal Department of Transportation
Section 402 grant through Maines Department of Transportation.
Membership dues in the Bicycle Coalition of Maine also help pay for the
programs, including the BSE.
Sufficient funding in future years for the program is not assured. Therefore,
the Bicycle Coalition of Maine is training school physical education teachers
(who are receiving professional development credit). These physical education
teachers will then have the option of teaching the BSE program in their
Publicity: Information about the BSE program is spread through teacher
and school newsletters, as well as the BCM Web site. Schools must contact
a State Department of Transportation coordinator to schedule a time for
a BSE instructor visit. Public service announcements on television also
publicize the various programs and events of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine.
In addition, the BSE program is announced in the e-mail newsletters and
quarterly publication of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, which are sent
to its members. Membership information is included in the childrens
take-home materials from a BSE class. Many parents whose children attended
the BSE class have joined the Coalition as a direct result of membership
information material the children took home. Membership in the Coalition
has recently expanded greatly.
Successes: During the 2000-2001 school year, 108 elementary schools
and over 15,000 students were reached by the BSE program.
The "Be a Safe Bike Driver" poster handout that focuses on five
safety practices is very attractive and well received by the students. The
students also generally respond enthusiastically to instructors who are
devoted cyclists and bring their own bicycles to the classes.
Challenges: Because of the number of students that must be taught,
as well as logistical and resource limitations, there are no on-bike activities
in the program.
It has been discovered that stressing the dangers of biking may motivate
children to ride bicycles more safely, but it should be balanced with a
positive approach that focuses on the benefits of biking.
- Program title: BIPED [Return to Quick Reference]
Organization: White Clay Bicycle Club, Wilmington, Delaware
Contact: Don Carbaugh, Program Director
Contact information: 302-529-7929, firstname.lastname@example.org
Program start date: 1988
Target audience: Kindergarten through fifth grade students
Program length: 45 minutes
Program summary: The White Clay Bicycle Club developed BIPED in collaboration
with the 4-H Cooperative Extension Service (CES), a 4-H organization that
is part of the University of Delawares Department of Agriculture. 4-H
CES acquired funding for the development of the program from a variety of
private sources and also handles the publicity and scheduling logistics of
the classroom presentations within elementary schools throughout the state
BIPED is a one-hour classroom presentation given by volunteer instructors,
most of whom are certified by the League of American Bicyclists Instructor
Certification program. The White Clay Bicycle Club provides the instructors
with a teaching kit that includes an outline, a videotape, and handout print
materials. The program is brief and is strictly classroom based, but it serves
as an introduction to the basics of bicycle safety principles.
The instructor wears bicycle clothing and a helmet and brings his or her bicycle.
This generally impresses upon the children that the instructor is an expert
and also helps elicit questions about the bicycle and biking. Answers are
usually related to bicycle safety.
The concept of driving a bicycle as opposed to riding
one is discussed. Its stressed that a bicycle is a vehicle, not a toy,
and that driving a bicycle carries the same responsibility as driving a car.
The videotape Bicycle Safety Camp, is shown and discussed.
Ten safe bicycling tips are discussed:
- Always ride on the right side of the road
- Wear a helmet every time you ride
- Obey all traffic laws stop for all STOP signs and traffic signals
- Signal when making a turn
- Be seen, wear bright clothes, and get a bright helmet
- Dont ride too close to parked cars and watch for opening vehicle
- Stop at the end of the driveway
- Dont clown around
- Yield the right-of-way and call to other riders when approaching or
- Be predictable: no surprises to other bicycles or cars
Wearing helmets and wearing them correctly is a key focus in this program.
Questions and answers are used to illustrate the importance of helmet use.
For example: "What are delicate things like computers and TVs packaged
in for protection?" (styrofoam) "What is a bicycle helmet made
of?" "How many of you have a helmet?" "How many of you
wear your helmet?" "What other professional athletes use helmets?"
(baseball, football, hockey, auto racing, etc.)
The instructor emphasizes that bicycle helmets reduce the risk of head
injuries by 85 percent and head injuries dont heal like broken bones.
The various features on a helmet are shown. Helmet fitting is demonstrated:
chin strap always fastened and adjusted (one finger between chin and strap),
snug (proper sizing pads), and level on head (one or two finger widths between
brow and helmet).
The class talks about how to handle peer pressure and the faulty rationale
for not wearing helmets, as well as the misconception that helmets are heavy,
hot, and "nerdy" (brain damage is more "nerdy").
Included in the program materials are a presentation outline, the videotape
Bicycle Safety Camp, and printed bicycle safety educational handout literature,
such as Best Bicyclist on Earth or Timmy the Dinosaur. Bicycle Zone and
Get the Big Picture (AAA Traffic Foundation, Washington, DC) are other videotapes
that have been used and are recommended for grades six through eight.
Funding: The development of BIPED was funded through grants obtained
by the 4-H CES from various private grant sources.
Publicity: Every year, 4-H CES sends a letter to all elementary schools
in the vicinity of Wilmington, Delaware. It provides information about the
program and asks school administrators to schedule a BIPED class. Many schools
consider the class an annual event and schedule it every spring.
Successes: The biggest success has been the partnership between the
White Clay Bicycle Club and 4-H CES. 4-H CES had already established credibility
and good working relationships with schools through its other programs.
BIPED benefited from its association with 4-H CES and was immediately embraced
by schools. 4-H CES handles all promotional and logistical aspects of the
program, including sending announcement letters to schools, scheduling classes,
and pre-class site visits to distribute materials.
This program is strictly a classroom presentation. Because of its simplicity
of delivery (only a 45-minute classroom presentation), many students can
be taught. This method also is least disruptive to standard school routines
and therefore is easier for schools to accommodate. Building partnerships
with other organizations in the community can provide different resources,
expertise, existing relationships with target audiences, and funding opportunities.
Challenges: As stated above, many students can be reached because
this program is strictly a classroom presentation. However, students would
retain more knowledge and skills and have a more complete educational experience
if they were given actual bicycle riding practice.
- Program title: Bicycle Safety and Awareness
Program [Return to Quick Reference]
Organization: Bicycle Transportation Alliance, Portland, Oregon
Contact: Scott Bricker, Program Director
Contact information: 503-226-0676, email@example.com
Web site: www.bta4bikes.org
Program start date: 1998
Target audience: Fourth through seventh (primarily sixth) grade students
Program length: Seven to ten hours
Program Summary: The Bicycle Safety and Awareness program is a comprehensive,
on-bike, ten-hour curriculum that teaches middle school students the fundamentals
of bicycle safety. Children learn to obey traffic laws and signs, ride with
traffic, hand turn signals, road positioning, right-of-way rules, hazard identification,
defensive cycling, proper helmet fitting, and bicycle maintenance. The goal
is to maintain an on-bike focus, spending six of the ten hours riding and
culminating with an on-street community ride. Bicycle Safety and Awareness
instructors are certified by completing a twelve-hour teacher-training class.
Certified instructors spend two weeks at a school during which they teach
five or six different classes. Each class is visited by an instructor seven
to ten times, depending on how much time the school has made available.
The program is divided into two parts four hours in the classroom and
six hours on bicycle. The course consists of ten one-hour
sessions. The first four days consist of the following topics: Day 1, Understanding
bicycle traffic laws and signs, which includes a 21-minute videotape, First
Gear; Day 2, Fitting helmets; Day 3, Maintaining and repairing bicycle; and
Day 4, Bike safety checks and traffic simulation. The second four days of
the curriculum take place outside: Day 5 includes bicycle riding activities
that teach skills like braking, turning, road positioning, and riding with
one hand. Days 6, 7, and 8 introduce children to riding on the street and
focus on road position, right-of-way, intersections, and interactions with
other vehicles. Days 9 and 10 consist of well-supervised on-street community
Materials in the program include an instructor manual, the videotape First
Gear (covering traffic laws in depth), helmet fitting brochure, Guide to Biking
in the City brochure and booklet, bicycle maintenance/repair tools, traffic
cones, reflective vests, helmets (for borrowing or buying), and 25 loan bicycles.
Evaluation: There is a written 20-question pre-test and post-test (true/false
and multiple choice) on lesson topics. The average improvement of the post-test
score over the pre-test score has been 40 to 60 percent.
In addition, surveys in schools where the course was conducted showed that
approximately four percent of the children rode to school before they attended
the program and ten percent rode to school afterwards.
Funding: The program is funded by Federal TEA-21, Section 402 (three
years) funding through the Oregon Department of Transportation. Successful
grant writing for funding from local, regional, and national organizations
and corporations has also provided a good fund base. (Refer to the list of
sponsors on the Bicycle Transportation
Alliance Web site.)
Publicity: Schools that choose to include the program have been recruited
by contacting school administrators and teachers. News of the program is then
spread informally by word-of-mouth and interested teachers can call the Bicycle
Transportation Alliance for more information.
Successes: On-bike practice has been a key to the enthusiasm of the
students and their willingness to demonstrate and retain the safe biking skills.
In addition, its widespread popularity has been a measure of its success.
Communities all over the state have chosen to implement the program.
Challenges: While fundraising has been successful, there is always
a shortage of money to accomplish the ultimate program goal teaching
every sixth grader in Oregon.
The program is still fairly new. Generating attention and interest is always
a challenge. But bicycle safety education does address a variety interests
for the public schools in Oregon:
- Active healthy lifestyle
- Consumer product safety
- Traffic safety
- Environmental cleanliness and awareness
- Program title: Kids on Bikes [Return to Quick Reference]
Organization: Kids on Bikes International, Inc., Reno, Nevada
Contact: Nat McKay, Program Director
Contact information: 775-856-2250, firstname.lastname@example.org
Program start date: 1999
Target audience: Elementary school-age children
Program length: Two hours
Program summary: The Kids on Bikes program is held at community centers,
recreation centers, and public events such as the "Childs Fair,"
which was first held in April 2000. Currently, Kids on Bikes is not in public
The Kids on Bikes program targets upper-elementary age children. However,
the standard topics can be replaced by more basic bicycle handling skills
and pedestrian safety techniques to be age-appropriate for younger elementary
The standard program consists of one hour indoors and one hour of on-bike
activities outdoors. The indoors presentation includes a discussion about
crashes and head injuries, and the importance of wearing helmets and fitting
them correctly. The "egg-drop" demonstration in a box of styrofoam
illustrates how helmets can protect the head. The videotape Jello in a Jar
is shown and discussed. Helmets are then provided to children who do not have
them. They are sold at wholesale cost and given to underprivileged participants.
Proper helmet fitting and bicycle fitting are taught. Loan bicycles are provided
(new or refurbished from donations) to children who do not have them. Underprivileged
participants are given bicycles.
The outside session is a bicycle rodeo that consists of nine skills stations,
- Left turn, right turn, and stop
- Quick stop
- Controlled straight line through cones
- Controlled slalom weaving maneuvers through cones
- Look over left shoulder for traffic
- Emergency obstacle dodge
- Maneuver through congested traffic conditions (other bicycles, children,
cones, etc.) and figure eight turning in limited space
- Multiple bicyclists maneuvering in figure eight
- Slow race (balancing) the winner is the last child to finish
without feet touching ground
Next, the children complete a handout, "Find the Missing 12 Hazards,"
in which they identify hidden bicycle hazards on a drawing of a street scene.
Free bicycling-related handouts are given to the children, such as water
bottles, bicycle safety workbooks, and coloring books.
Evaluation: A 15-question written multiple choice, true/false test
is given to the children at the end of the two-hour session. Students generally
score an average of 80 percent correct.
Funding has come from Federal Section 402 money through the Nevada Department
of Transportation. In addition, other funding has come from small grants
from organizations such as hospitals, as well as private donations. The
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has also provided funding based on
the programs bicycle parts recycling activities.
Publicity: Kids on Bikes events are announced on radio public service
announcements and via flyers and notifications posted in hospitals and other
public places. Local television and newspaper stories have been done on
Kids on Bikes.
Successes: Kids on Bikes has been able to refurbish and place bicycles
with dozens of economically-disadvantaged youths who otherwise would not
have the opportunity to own a bicycle. During 2001, Kids on Bikes has placed
almost 200 bicycles and trained 975 children in seven months April
Challenges: The challenges are to educate more children to wear helmets
as well as to convince adults to wear helmets so they are good role models
for the children. The Kids on Bikes program has not yet been incorporated
in public schools.
- Program title: After School Bike Club [Return to Quick Reference]
Organization: City of Madison, Wisconsin
Contact: Arthur Ross, Program Director Ellen Pillsbury, Lead Instructor
Contact information: 608-266-6225, Aross@ci.madison.wi.us
Program start date: Pilot launched in summer of 2001
Target audience: Middle school-age children
Program length: Eight 1.5-hour sessions
Program summary: The After School Bike Club was developed to teach
safe bicycling skills as well as to promote bicycling as a fun and lifelong
activity. The title After School Bike Club was selected over a title such
as "Bike Safety Course", since middle school-age children generally
consider having fun to be more important than personal safety. Nonetheless,
the main orientation of this program is to learn bicycle safety while having
fun riding bicycles. The bicycle safety skills taught in this program are
based on those of the Effective Cycling course from the League
of American Bicyclists. The After School Bike Club pilot was introduced
during the summer of 2001 by veteran bicycle safety educator Arthur Ross and
League Cycling Instructor Ellen Pillsbury in middle schools and public recreation
The students bring their bicycles to the After School Bike Club and the lead
instructor works with the students aided by adult volunteers. The Club consists
of eight 1.5-hour sessions. The sessions consist primarily of bicycle rides,
some pre-ride discussion, and frequent stop-and-talk teaching opportunities.
The program is flexible enough to accommodate students with varying skill
Day 1 is a preparation day consisting of a discussion/demonstration, a bicycle
safety inspection (using a checklist), proper helmet fitting, and basic rules
of the road. It also includes a brief ride on quiet residential streets during
which three safety skills are emphasized: entering traffic from a driveway
and right and left turns. The remaining days consist of bicycle rides to increasingly
distant destinations, while frequently stopping to discuss situations encountered.
Day 2 consists of a longer ride with braking and lane positioning introduced.
The ride includes traffic situations like parked cars, stop signs, and traffic
signals, plus plenty of turns to practice lane positioning. In addition, the
previous days skills are practiced.
Day 3 consists of a hazard identification exercise before getting on the bicycles,
then an on-bike team scavenger hunt identifying hazards: (1) moving (cars,
bicycles, dogs), (2) stationary (trees, fences, parked cars), (3) surfaces
(pot holes, grass, wet or oily pavement, sand), and (4) visibility (sunlight,
darkness, rain, fog, objects). An optional lesson in emergency maneuvers,
like the quick turn and quick stop, is sometimes introduced. But because of
the high level of bicycle handling skill needed, this lesson is not recommended
for all groups. The point is to identify hazards in advance to make the use
of emergency evasive maneuvers unnecessary.
Day 4 consists of operational procedures such as shifting, braking, maintaining
cadence, planning when to stop, and shifting in advance. In addition, the
previous days skills are practiced.
Days 5 to 8 consist of longer distance rides and riding in more complex traffic
patterns. During a rainy day or riding break, students
are taught to fix a flat tire, plan routes, and read maps. A long, fun trip
is taken on the last day, and more adult volunteers are invited. For example,
it may consist of a 12-mile trip around a lake, ending at an ice cream store.
Arrangements are often made with a local bicycle store to borrow rental bicycles
or helmets, as needed. The store may send an employee to help supervise. Traffic
Enforcement Officers are also good resources. They are sometimes invited to
ride with the club and talk about traffic laws. Also included in the course
are promotional flyers, bicycle inspection checklists, and an instructor lesson
Middle school-age children have been selected as the target audience for this
program. The intent is that the After School Bike Club will encourage students
to continue their frequent riding habits during high school years and beyond.
Middle school-age children tend to use bicycles more frequently than children
in other age groups. Middle school children are also more independent than
elementary-age children and more likely to use bicycles to commute to school.
In addition, bicycle riding tends to decrease with high school students.
Evaluation: No formal success measuring methods were undertaken for
this program. However, the lead instructor observes the students on-bike
behavior and generally notes skill improvements. Several of the students were
observed using their bicycles throughout the city over the course of the summer
of 2001, indicating a greater comfort level on the part of both the participants
and their parents in their bicycling skills and abilities.
Funding: Federal Highway Administration Section 402 funds were furnished
through the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. These funds covered instructor
costs and material development.
Publicity: Flyers were posted in schools and other public places, and
summer recreational programs were contacted.
- Program title: Bike Lesson and Safety Training
Program (BLAST) [Return to Quick Reference]
Organization: Youth Educational Sports Foundation (YES), Los Angeles,
Contact: Tana Ball, Executive Director
Contact information: 818-292-0779, email@example.com
Web site: www.yesports.org
Program start date: 1995
Target audience: Elementary, middle school, and high schoolage
Program length: Two hours (two class periods)
Program summary: YES is a nonprofit organization that works both in
and outside of schools and introduces nontraditional school sports such as
bicycling to students from kindergarten to college and to youth organizations.
Bicycle safety, recreational, and competition programs are taught during school
hours, during afterschool cycling club programs, and during youth organizations
The Bike Lesson and Safety Training (BLAST) is a bicycle safety program that
was first developed by YES in March 1995. BLAST is a free, comprehensive,
self-contained package containing a video and tutorial available to schools
in Los Angeles County for free. BLAST is taught in school physical education
classes. Loan bicycles, helmets, and other equipment are also available to
schools. The program has three objectives:
- Reduce the number of bicycle riders killed, disabled, or injured by
decreasing bicyclerelated collisions
- Increase bicycle helmet use
- Increase the use of bicycles as part of a healthy life style for transportation,
recreation, and sport
While each of the three programs emphasize different age-appropriate information,
all cover the following nine topics:
- Bicycle-handling skills
- Traffic proximity
- Bicycling as an environmental solution
- Biking for physical health
- Traffic survival skills
- Bicycling as sport
- Bicycling as recreation and transportation
- Helmet safety
- Bicycle maintenance
The elementary school BLAST program (ages 5 to 10) focuses on pedestrian
skills and beginning bicycle-handling skills. The middle school BLAST program
(ages 11-13) focuses on residential bicycling and beginning traffic skills.
The high school BLAST program (ages 14-18) focuses on biking in traffic
skills and bicycling as a life skill. Each program consists of two sessions.
A manual with instructions on how to conduct both sessions is included in
the BLAST package.
In the first session, the 28-minute videotape The Bike Channel is shown
and then discussed. The videotape covers three topics:
- Road survival skills
- Smart bicycling skills
- Interesting bicycling facts
Also included in this discussion are proper nutrition and exercise. During
the first day, the students are given permission forms for signature by
parents allowing students to participate in the second day bicycle rodeo.
The bicycle rodeo gives the students hands-on bicycle practice. Bicycles
and helmets are available for students who do not have their own equipment.
Students record their scores for each skill covered in the rodeo (for example,
merging into traffic or helmet check).
YES sponsors other bicycle education programs that promote a variety of
community-based values and also target lower social-economic populations.
These programs include bicycle clubs that sponsor bicycle field trips and
other special events as well as continuous education in safety and advanced
riding skills. Other programs include a bicycle recycling program in which
children are taught repair skills and then earn a bicycle by fixing one
that has been donated.
Evaluation: Surveys have been conducted at participating schools
one month before and one month after the program. In general, there has
been an increase in bicycle use and a major decrease in the bicycle-related
injuries among students. To date, no known bicycle-related deaths have occurred
among students after participating in the program.
Funding: The BLAST program applied for and received three grants:
- Three-year startup funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation
Section 402 funds via the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation
- After the three-year startup grant from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan
Transportation Authority, the California State Office of Traffic Safety
provided funding that was crucial to sustaining the program for five more
- The California State Department of Health Services has provided funding
that has helped sustain the program.
YES also helps schools organize fundraising events for their own bicycle
Publicity: BLAST is integrated into the Los Angeles Unified School
District. Notices for the program are sent to teachers through the internal
school mail system. Fortunately, the California Department of Education
requires bicycle safety and injury prevention education in the schools.
BLAST is currently well supported by teachers and administrators because
it addresses this requirement.
Successes: BLAST reaches approximately 350,000 students annually.
Since the development of BLAST and other YES bicycle programs, Los Angeles
County youths have shown a general increase in bicycle use and decrease
in bicycle-related injuries.
Approximately 75 percent of middle school and high school students who want
to join the bicycle clubs do not have bicycles. YES has been successful
in making bicycles available for loan, thus ensuring that students will
be able to stay in practice, maintain interest, and ride safely through
their high school years.
Challenges: Initially, it was difficult to convince school administrators
that bicycle safety education was important and should be included in schools.
The arguments used to convince administrators were:
- Even though most students dont ride bicycles, some do, and they
need bicycle safety training.
- Bicycling is important as a healthy lifestyle activity.
- California passed a helmet law in 1994, requiring children to wear helmets
while bicycling. Children need to be trained on their proper use.
In addition, since many children ride the bus to school, they have no way
to bring their bicycles to school for the program. The BLAST program now
has bicycle trailers and loan bicycles.
- Program title: Earn a Bike and Ride Club [Return to Quick Reference]
Organization: Recycle a Bike, New York, New York
Contact: Karen Overton, Director
Contact information: 212-260-7055 or 212-475-1655, firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site: www.recycleabicycle.org
Program start date: 1994
Target audience: Upper-elementary age through high school
Program length: Participants spend 18 hours working in the program
bicycle shop and six hours working on their own bicycle. They also receive
20 hours of instruction (ten weeks, two hours per week)
Program summary: Recycle a Bike includes the Earn a Bike program and
Bike Club. The Earn a Bike program is part of a larger effort by Recycle a
Bike to develop a culture in the community in which bicycles and biking are
a focus. Its goals are to:
- Increase the number of children (and adults) who ride bicycles
- Increase safe biking practices
- Educate children about bicycle repair, running a business, recycling,
and the health benefits of bicycling
The Earn a Bike program has three requirements. The first requirement is
for the participant to spend 18 hours assisting in the programs commercial/educational
Recycle a Bike store. This is a fully functional retail store that repairs
donated bicycles and sells them to the public. The participant learns bicycle
repair and business skills. The participant may also spend six out of the
18 hours doing a pre-approved outside community service.
The second requirement is for the participant to spend six hours repairing
the recycled bicycle that will be given to him or her. The repaired bicycle
must pass a safety inspection by the staff.
The third requirement is for the participant to take a 20-hour course (ten
weeks, two hours per week) that consists of the following four lesson topics:
- An hour-long discussion of bicycle safety that includes a 28-minute videotape,
The Bike Channel, produced by the BLAST program (referred to in previous
- Environmental recycling
- Bicycle mechanics
- Health benefits of bicycling
The participant takes ownership of the bicycle after completing the above
Another component of the Recycle a Bike program is Ride Club. Ride Club consists
of eight weekly organized bicycle rides, usually during the summer. Often,
the bicycle ride destinations are community service centers that provide opportunities
for discussion about community service. For example, after a ride to a sculpture
park that recycles objects, a discussion is held about recycling. The first
session is spent inspecting bikes for safety, followed up with a short ride
on a green way (not on streets) five miles for pre-teens and eight
miles for teens. During each ride, breaks are taken to talk about and demonstrate
educational lessons, such as bicycle safety practices. The last ride is a
longer one to a "special" destination, such as the beach. The rides
are led by paid staff and assisted by volunteers.
some point during Ride Club, a bicycle rodeo is set up where the children
must demonstrate the safe biking skills they have learned, such as riding
in a straight line, turning, following directions in a group ride, and balancing
(during a slow bicycle race). In addition, a written true/false
quiz must be passed. (Note that this is not always used because some of the
immigrant population lack English reading skills.) After successful completion
of the Ride Club, the children receive a laminated Ride Club license that
is honored at local bicycle stores for discounted purchases of bicycle-related
The Recycle a Bike program in New York City is one of 100 organizations across
the United States that are part of the Youth Bicycle Education Network, an
organization dedicated to promoting Earn a Bike programs. To learn more about
the Youth Bicycle Education Network, contact Charles Hammond at: e-mail email@example.com
or telephone 317-253-3632.
Evaluation: The only measure of success is completion of the programs
by the participants. As of the summer of 2001, nearly 4,000 youths had completed
Funding: First-year funding was $25,000 from the New York City Department
of Sanitation (because of the recycling component). Additional monies are
received through donations from cycling organizations, as well as grants from
small foundations. In addition, funding is provided through bicycle sales
and repairs from the Recycle a Bike store.
Publicity: Many participants learn about the program through the Web
In addition, word-of-mouth networking has been effective through bicycle shops.
Public access TV has also been used, as well as the distribution of promotional
Successes: This program is based on experiential learning through hands-on
activities: repairing and riding bicycles. Its philosophy is to have children
participate in a fun activity, through which a variety of skills are learned.
Other benefits for participants are community service education and skills
in operating a business, repairing bicycles, overcoming the psychological
barriers of geography, and riding bicycle safely. The program trains approximately
500 children annually.
Challenges: There has not been enough money to staff all events. Volunteers
are not expected to be fully accountable for all aspects of the program. Events
should be led by paid staff who can be fully accountable, then supplemented
Liability is always an issue. Parental waivers should be included. Nonetheless,
this will not keep a parent from suing in case of an accident.
Safe bicycles are not always brought to Ride Club by participants. Staff must
be sure that any bicycle used in an activity is inspected and determined to
be safe to ride. Having a fleet of safe bicycles available for participants
to use is one solution to this problem.
- Program title: Sprockids [Return to Quick Reference]
Organization: International Mountain Biking Association(IMBA)/Sprockids
Contact: Judd de Vall, IMBA/Sprockids Coordinator
Contact information: 1-888-442-4622, firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site: www.imba.com, www.sprockids.com
Program start date: 1990
Target audience: Elementary through high school-age students
Program length: Flexible ten-week program (two one-hour sessions per
Program summary: Sprockids is a comprehensive educational program started
in British Columbia, Canada, that brings the sport of mountain biking into
the educational curriculum. It was developed by an elementary school teacher
in response to a need for promoting a sports activity in schools that is inclusive
to all students who want to participate. Its overall goals are to promote
self-esteem and teamwork while retaining individuality, and develop healthy,
physical, lifelong activity among all youths. The Sprockids program accomplishes
these goals though numerous lessons and activities that focus primarily on
bicycle maintenance and safe riding skills.
Additional activities include lessons on fitting bicycles, designing mountain
biking courses on playgrounds, fitness/nutrition/dehydration, racing skills,
designing team logos and T-shirts, starting bicycle clubs, trail etiquette,
and trail building and maintenance. It is a flexible, organized collection
of resources that teachers, coaches, and others can use to set up their own
programs and tailor to the appropriate age level. Teachers create mountain
biking clubs that form the basis of these activities. Most of the activities
are outdoors, but some are indoors.
Though flexible in scope, the full-scale program typically spans ten weeks,
with two hour-long sessions per week. Optional cross-curricular activities
have also been incorporated into the lessons that address subjects like math,
language arts, science, social studies, and art. In addition, the Sprockids
program includes after-school bicycle club activities such as trail maintenance
and building, teaching riding skills, weekly rides, maintenance clinics, group
rides, and participation in mountain biking races.
The most recent large event organized by Sprockids was "Trail Fest 2001"
which brought together the Back Country Horsemen Association and the British
Columbia Ministry of Forests to build forest trails for recreational use.
Over 1,000 students from eight elementary and two high schools were involved.
After the trail work was complete, a large barbecue and prize giveaway for
participants was held. Over the years, many of the bike companies and component
manufacturers such as Norco, RaceFace, SRAM, Manitou, Rock Shox, Santa Cruz,
Chris King, TruVativ, Bell Sports USA, Sun/Ringle, FinishLine, Park Toos,
OGC, Shimano, and others have been very generous in providing products for
the various events that Sprockids hosts.
Evaluation: In 1999, a survey was sent to 100 different educators who
have used the program. It provided qualitative information that was useful
in improving the course. Formal evaluation is planned for 2002.
Funding: Initial funding was contributed strictly by the developer,
Doug Detwiller. However, as popularity of the program spread, funding from
small organizations allowed Detwiller to develop the standard print materials.
The International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) of Boulder, Colorado
and Sprockids have partnered to further develop and promote the program in
the U.S., Canada, and eventually, internationally. One of the first tasks
was to expand and revise the instructional package. The new manual and supporting
documentation should be printed by the end of 2001. The partnering with IMBA
has brought visibility that has led to sponsorship from Ben and Jerrys
Ice Cream and Pearl Izumi Clothing.
Publicity: Sprockids has no advertising budget but has been very fortunate
in receiving media coverage from mountain biking magazines, newspaper articles,
and from television stations like ESPN, OLN, and CBC. Even with this kind
of attention, the greatest publicity has nonetheless been from word-of-mouth.
Successes: The program was developed initially to target the developers
immediate students. Over time, news spread slowly about the program and its
popularity has greatly increased. Nonetheless, success of the program has
primarily been measured in its ability to help children enhance their self-esteem,
and in the personal satisfaction of teachers when the program benefits the
Challenges: Nontraditional sports such as biking are not easily accepted
as part of a sports system in the schools. For the developers of Sprockids,
the definition of sports in the schools needs to be changed. A sport like
biking can offer a great deal to child development. It is an inclusive sport
in which anyone at just about any level of physical ability can participate.
"Not making the team" is not an issue.
[Return to Quick Reference] [Table
- Program title: Effective Cycling/Road I [Return to Quick Reference]
Organization: Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition
Contact: John S. Allen, Instructor
Contact information: 781-891-9307, email@example.com
Web site: www.bikexprt.com
Program start date: 1989
Target audience: Adults (primarily) and teenagers
Program length: 20 hours (five four-hour sessions)
Program summary: John Allen is a certified instructor of the Effective
Cycling course that was developed initially by John Forester and the League
of American Bicyclists. The League is currently revising Effective Cycling
into several age-appropriate and skill-level programs, including Road I and
Road II. The Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition organizes several Road I classes
a year. John Allen, one of the Coalition instructors, currently teaches the
Road I course and supplements it with elements from the Road II course.
The course is generally held at a community or recreation center. The activities
during the first day are conducted in a wide-open,
safe parking lot. As an opening attention grabber, the instructor
demonstrates bicycle-handling techniques that are not commonly known; for
example, quick stops using front/back braking, emergency turning techniques
to avoid obstacles, and quick starts. The techniques demonstrated are for
maneuvering and crash avoidance, not athletic display. They are described
in John Foresters book, Effective Cycling.
Other topics are proper bicycle fitting, helmet fitting, maintenance procedures,
and performing a pre-ride safety check. Also covered are bicycle mounting
and dismounting techniques, starting and stopping in traffic, maintaining
a straight line when riding, steering smoothly, looking over the shoulder
for traffic while steering straight, and using proper hand signals. Traffic
laws and road positioning are also taught. Everyday the group goes for a ride
and stops frequently to discuss the situations encountered.
The first days ride is short, and the daily rides get progressively
longer and venture into higher traffic volume areas as the participants are
able to demonstrate their new skills.
The instructor also supplements the course topics with information from the
Road II course, such as the bicyclists nutrition, hydration, physical
conditioning, comfort, clothing, and bicycling equipment.
Evaluation: On the last day, the participants take the standard Road
I test in which they demonstrate their newly learned on-bicycle skills. Almost
all students pass the demonstration test.
In addition, the participants take a 20-question multiple choice, true/false
test on the last day. Students generally get between 75 and 85 percent correct
on this written test.
Funding: The students pay a $60 fee that covers all costs for conducting
Publicity: The course is publicized in the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition
newsletter and in various adult education notices. Sometimes newspaper articles
are written about the course and public television public service announcements
Successes: When the participants see the emergency techniques, they
realize that safe bicycling is a skill that needs to be learned. The opening
segment of the course demonstrates this dramatically.
Challenges: Many people think that because they learned how to ride
when they were children, they know all they need to know about bicycle safety.
As a result, it is difficult to motivate adults to take a bicycle safety course.
Programs [Return to Quick Reference] [Table of Contents]
- Program title: Texas SuperCyclist Project
(Instructor Training) [Return
to Quick Reference]
Organization: Texas Bicycle Coalition Education Fund
Contact: Preston Tyree, Program Director
Contact information: 512-476-7433, firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site: www.SuperCyclist.org
Program start date: Piloted 1996-1998 statewide (Texas); delivery began
Target audience: Teachers of fourth and fifth grades
Program length: Approximately five hours (five lessons)
Program summary: The Texas SuperCyclist Project is a teacher certification
program that provides free in-service training for Health and Physical Education
teachers leading to a six-hour certificate from the Texas Association of Health,
Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. This program is designed to prepare
teachers to teach basic bicycle safety practices to fourth and fifth grade
children in schools across Texas. One trainer instructs approximately 20 to
25 teachers during each one-day session. Teachers are then qualified to teach
the six-hour student course, consisting of five modules. Each module takes
between 45 minutes to an hour to complete. Modules 1 through 4 are conducted
in a classroom and Module 5 is conducted outdoors, usually in a parking lot
or playground. The modules consist of the following topics:
- Module 1: Safety Rules discusses seven bicycle traffic laws
that are part of the Texas transportation code. It also discusses safety
practices for bicyclists entering traffic and turning.
- Module 2: Vehicle Safety discusses bicycle maintenance and how
to do safety inspections. It includes an inspection checklist.
- Module 3: Safe Choices consists of a discussion about identifying
safety hazards and making good choices in traffic. It includes a game
called Cycle Jeopardy in which the student identifies 15 potential
bicycle hazards on a poster-size, artist rendition of a city street. (Refer
- Module 4: Operator Safety discusses bicycle operator safety practices
and focuses on proper use of the helmet, but also discusses dress, hydration,
and other safe operator practices.
- Module 5: Safety in Action instructs how to build two types of
outdoor road courses: Course ABasic Skills, and Course BRoad
Simulation. (Diagrams for both can be downloaded from www.SuperCyclist.org/ttraining.html.)
Course A is used to give participants practice in basic handling skills
and to determine who is ready for Course B. Course B consists of setting
up a simulated road course. After the road course is set up, a group of
teacher trainees is brought in and taught by the course instructor while
the other teacher trainees observe and assist.
This diagram is
the layout for the Course B: Road Simulation developed for the SuperCyclist
Project by the Texas Bicycle Coalition (all contents © 2001). It
is designed to reinforce on-road skills for bicyclists that have already
completed Course A: Basic Skills. Course B has six stations. The optimal
number of simultaneous bicyclists on it is six. For more information
on both courses and links to instructions for their use, refer to www.supercyclist.org/ttraining.html.
The following skills are taught in Module 5:
- Lane positioning
- Left and right turns
- Crossing traffic
- Avoiding obstacles
- Entering/crossing traffic
For more information on the five modules, visit www.SuperCyclist.org/ttraining.html.
Each module includes homework. For example, Module 1 includes a document on
Texas cycling laws and Module 2 includes the bicycle safety inspection list
and instructions on how to use it.
Also included in the course are two videos (one for children and one for adults),
a brochure on safe choices, four posters, four overheads, and a teachers manual.
Most of these materials can be downloaded from www.SuperCyclist.org.
Evaluation: There are three evaluation methods for the SuperCyclist
course: a pre-test, a post-test, and a helmet usage survey. The pre-test and
post-test consist of 15 questions (same questions for each) on topics covered
in the course. An average of 62 percent correct has been scored on the pre-test
and 86 percent correct on the post-test.
The survey on whether students are wearing helmets is given before the course,
then again three months and six months later. Results have shown that an average
of 12 percent of students who havent taken the course wear helmets and
an average of 46 percent of students who have taken the course wear helmets
after both three months and six months following course completion. It is
hoped that these helmet use survey results indicate a change of the other
behaviors taught in the course as well.
Funding: The seed money came from a grant from Subaru of America,
Inc., which provided two cars and salary for one full-time employee for three
years. This provided time to apply for the three-year federal grant, Section
402 Traffic Safety Funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The Texas
Department of Transportation assisted in acquiring this funding. The Section
402 funding has totaled approximately $800,000.
Publicity: School district coordinators and organizations such as
the PTA and the Texas Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation
and Dance have been contacted. These organizations must be convinced that
a non-academic program like the SuperCyclist program is needed in the Texas
schools. The Texas Medical Association and the Texas Hospital Association
have been supportive of this program.
The program has been promoted to the 80 largest school districts (out
of 1,600 districts statewide), representing approximately 50 percent of the
school population. Of these, over half have held training programs resulting
in over 2,200 teachers trained in less than two years. This should result
in over 200,000 students trained each year.
Because there are so many potential SuperCyclist students over 1,600
school districts with more than 3,600 physical education teachers in the state
of Texas partnerships have been built with several organizations, for
example, local PTAs and the Texas Medical Association. These partnerships
have helped the programs popularity and credibility among Texas schools.
Challenges: Over 1,600 school districts must be convinced that they
need the SuperCyclist program. This is not easy when there is competition
for teachers time in other high visibility subjects like math and English.
Teachers and/or school administrators must make sure that the school insurance
covers "on school ground" student activities. In addition, waivers
for each student must be signed by parents. Schools need to treat this program
just as they would a field trip.
Teachers have a tendency to stray from the curriculum topics. There should
be follow-up contact with the instructors to ensure that they are sticking
to the curriculum information.
- Program title: Florida Traffic and Bicycle
Safety Education Program [Return to Quick Reference]
Organization: Florida Department of Transportation and University of
Contact: Linda Crider, Program Director
Contact information: 352-392-8192, LBCrider@aol.com
Web site: www.dcp.ufl.edu/centers/trafficsafetyed/
Program start date: 1982
Target audience: School teachers and community trainers to serve as instructors
for grades K-2, grades 3-5, grades 6-8, and drivers education students
Program lengths: Ten-hour workshop for school teachers; eight-hour
work shop for community trainers (three to five hours classroom instruction
each year in grades K-5 and three to five hours of on-bike training each year
in grades 3-5); and two-hour drivers education course (piloted in 2001)
Program summary: The Florida Traffic and Bicycle Safety Education Program
consists primarily of four courses: (1) ten-hour teacher (elementary and middle)
workshop, Pre-Drivers Ed Thinking Ahead; (2) eight-hour Community
Workshop; (3) nine-hour Road I Adult Bicycling (developed by League
of American Bicyclists); and (4) two-hour Driver Ed for Bike and Ped (piloted
in 2001). These courses teach bicycle safety skills and encourage walking
and bicycling as healthy and environmentally responsible transportation choices.
The ten-hour teacher workshop Pre-Drivers Ed Thinking Ahead prepares
Physical Education and Health teachers at the elementary and middle school
levels at one-and-half day training sessions. The Traffic Safety Education
Guide is used to conduct the workshop and focuses on development of pedestrian
and bicycle skills appropriate for physical education classes. These are provided
at no cost to teachers by a grant from the Florida Department of Transportation
Safety Office. Education for grades K-2 focuses on pedestrian safety while
the grades 3-5 program focuses on bicycle safety. The middle school (grades
6-8) program deals with environment-friendly transportation, nutrition and
cycling, bike maintenance and repair and "pre-driver" skills of
crash avoidance and rules of the road. Teachers learn how to train students
in progressive, age-appropriate acquisition of bicycle and traffic safety
skills, decision-making skills, balance development, awareness of surroundings
and environmental/conservation issues, independence mobility, and physical
exercise and health. Lessons include classroom instruction involving viewing
and discussing a videotape and completing game activity sheets. On-bike practice
lessons include learning traffic skills such as signaling, avoiding hazards,
scanning left/right and to the rear, stopping at the edge, and proper helmet
Equipment is also provided by the program. This includes specially-designed
14-foot trailers that house bicycles, helmets, traffic cones, tool kits, videotapes,
classroom materials, and everything else needed to conduct the program. These
trailers circulate from school to school during the year and are periodically
rotated for bike maintenance.
The eight-hour Community Workshop provides community law enforcement officials,
youth group leaders, community safety specialists and school resource officers
with bicycle safety procedures and rules of the road appropriate for the elementary
level. Participants learn to conduct successful bicycle safety rodeos and
present bicycle safety information to the public. For a small fee, participants
also receive a copy of Guide to Bicycle Rodeos by John Williams and Dan Burden.
The Drivers Ed for Bicycle and Ped Program fulfills the need for bicycle
safety education in driver education programs. Drivers education instructors
are prepared to teach bicycle and pedestrian laws, common crash types, and
responsible sharing of the road through classroom activities, homework, and
evaluation tools. In 2001, this course was in the pilot stage.
All courses and workshops are conducted by members of the Florida Regional
Training Team and are certified by the League of American Bicyclists.
Evaluation: A study was conducted on elementary schools participating
in the Florida Traffic and Bicycle Safety Education Program from 1996 through
1998 in Duval County, Florida. The following was found: an increase in helmet
use from 19 percent in 1996 to 47 percent in 1997; an 80 percent decrease
in bicycle-related mortality and a 68 percent decrease in bicycle-related
injury between 1996 and 1997.
Funding: In 1982, the Florida Traffic and Bicycle Safety Education
Program was developed with assistance from the U.S. Department of Transportation
(DOT) Section 402 funding through the Florida DOT (FDOT). This was a three-year
grant that funded one developer/instructor position. When that funding ceased,
the program became inactive. A team of bicycle safety experts developed a
more comprehensive train-the-trainer curriculum, and Polk County, Florida,
obtained Section 402 funding for three years to train a group of physical
education teachers who would then teach the curriculum. In 1991 the University
of Florida (UF) under the direction of Linda Crider, contracted for the program
administration where it remains today. In 1996 it was bought under the FDOT
regular training budget on a three-year renewable contract to UF. The program
is supported through a non-profit organization, Bike Florida, which supplements
training with warehouse space for equipment storage and provides mini-grants
to school districts. U.S. DOT 402 funds are also provided to school districts
for purchasing bikes, trailers, and other equipment.
Publicity: Because there is no budget for advertising, publicity for
the program is gained primarily by word-of-mouth and newspaper coverage. It
is important that parents learn about the program so that they can apply pressure
to school principals to bring the program into their schools. Contacts are
made through School District Supervisors for Health and P.E., Health Department
Injury Prevention Specialists, Bike/Ped Supervisors, Community Traffic Safety
Specialists, Law Enforcement Agencies and Safe Kids Coalitions. At present,
there is no statewide curriculum requirement for traffic safety education.
However, the program is still supported and conducted in over 55 percent of
the school districts in Florida.
Successes: The greatest success of the program is that it has not only
survived since 1982 but has also evolved and expanded. The Florida State government
has deemed the program worthy to fund as a part of its annual budget. This
is due in part to its ability to (1) consistently reach hundreds of thousands
of children across the state and (2) successfully acquire Section 402 funding
repeatedly during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The programs continued
appeal to schools is partially a result of its growth and evolution, a resistance
to stagnancy, the ongoing training of new teachers, and a state childrens
bicycle helmet law implemented in 1997.
Challenges: As teachers leave the field, there is constant turnover
and a need to train new teachers. Also, the maintenance and security of equipment
trailers requires continuous attention. It competes for time in an already
constrained school day and requires significant effort and commitment to teach
the program and keep equipment in good working order. The large number of
students per class also creates great challenges.
- Program title: Helmet Your Brain Avoid
the Pain© Helmet Education Program [Return to Quick Reference]
Organization: Bicycle Safety Partnership, Safe Kids Coalition of Maricopa
County and Phoenix Childrens Hospital, Injury Prevention Center, Phoenix,
Contact: Susan Bookspan, Program Director
Contact information: 602-239-3320, email@example.com
Web site: www.phxchildrens.com
Program start date: 1999
Target audience: Teachers for primary, elementary, and middle school
Program length: 90 minutes (one single unit, or may be divided into
summary: The goal of Helmet Your Brain Avoid the Pain© program
is to encourage the use of helmets by children biking, roller blading, or
riding scooters. Based on research conducted by Phoenix Childrens Hospital,
only 21 to 22 percent of the children in Phoenix wore helmets while doing
these activities. Also, surveys showed that children were more likely to wear
helmets if their friends did. Group dynamics and social pressures are important
factors for consistent helmet use among children. The program offers the students
information about the brain and what can occur if the brain is injured. It
also provides information about how the brain can be protected by the use
of a helmet. Most importantly, the program offers the students an opportunity
to discuss and role-play various ways to encourage helmet use among peers.
This train-the-trainer program is taught by teachers, youth organization leaders,
health professionals, and parents.
The interactive Helmet Your Brain Avoid the Pain© program materials
are contained in a box and include everything a presenter needs to prepare
for and conduct a class. The program consists of the curriculum and work sheets,
a brain gelatin mold, a model of a skull, two safety videos, a bicycle helmet,
program stickers, Phoenix Children's Hospital Bike Safety brochures, and a
brain book reference guide. There is also a Spanish language version and an
Currently, the program is distributed through a lending program to schools
and organizations in Maricopa County, Arizona (Phoenix metropolitan area).
It also can be purchased by interested educators (contact Susan Bookspan for
more information). All funds are used to add materials to the program.
Evaluation: The Injury Prevention Center at Phoenix Children's Hospital
began a bicycle helmet use observational study in January of 1998 and has
conducted it annually since then. During the Fall of 2001, schools that conduct
the Helmet Your Brain© program will also answer pre- and post-class surveys
to measure the effectiveness of the program in changing the practice of helmet
use. In past surveys conducted in the Phoenix area, helmet use by children
has generally increased during the last four years: 1998 16 percent,
1999 14 percent, 2000 22 percent, and 2001 21 percent.
It is believed that this increase is due primarily to an overall increase
in awareness about the importance of helmets.
Funding: The original funding was from the Safe Children Coalition
of Maricopa County, Arizona. This group hosts many activities that raise funds
for various projects. The funding goes to the Bicycle Safety Partnership,
which in turn created the Helmet Your Brain© program as one of its projects.
The program now is primarily funded by proceeds from sales of the program
Publicity: Program information is sent semiannually to school
principals, nurses, librarians and physical education teachers in Maricopa
County, Arizona. These postcards give a brief overview of the program and
a number to call to reserve the program for free. Initially, requests for
the program filtered in slowly but ultimately the program became in high demand.
The largest users are schools, fire departments, police departments and other
Safe Kids Coalitions.
A helmet design contest has also been an effective publicity method for the
program and has served to counter the idea among children that helmets are
not "cool" among their peers. The contest is co-sponsored by the
2001 World Series-winning Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team. Contest packets
are sent to school principals, nurses, art and physical education teachers
in Maricopa County on Diamondbacks letterhead announcing the contest with
instructions to distribute the materials to fourth through sixth grade classes.
The packets include information about the Helmet Your Brain © program
and how to reserve it. Also included are blank drawings of a bicycle helmet.
Students are instructed to draw their favorite bicycle helmet design using
the official Diamondbacks colors.
panel of judges selects five finalists and at a Diamondbacks baseball game,
fans vote for their favorite helmet artwork based on the designs viewed on
the jumbo screen. A public service announcement for helmet use is also made
at the game and during the months before and after the contest. The winning
design is made into custom-made decals, which are applied to helmets. The
helmets with the winning design are given to the winner's classmates and teacher,
and the four finalists. During the next baseball game, the winner and finalists
bicycle into the ballpark and participate in a pre-game on-field ceremony
wearing winning design helmets and T-shirts, and the winner is presented with
a trophy. For each of the past two years, thousands of entries have been received.
Successes: The most important aspect of this program is that everyone
involved is giving students the same consistent helmet message. It is an all-inclusive
interactive format that the teachers and other users found easy to use. The
program creates "helmet experts" who spread the helmet safety message.
To date, the program boxes are in constant use and the reputation of the program
has continued to grow. Program requests come in from all over the country.
The Bicycle Safety Partnership sells the program boxes to users outside of
Maricopa County but continues to provide them free to any school or group
within Maricopa County. All receipts are used to provide more program boxes.
The Helmet Your Brain Avoid the Pain© program is available in
Spanish, as an abridged version, and as a primary program as well as an adult
Challenges: One limitation of the program is not having enough "brain
boxes" available for all requests. The current goal is to get enough
funding to have a box in every school, library and parks and recreation department
in Maricopa County.
- Program title: Nevada Elementary Traffic
Safety Program Instructor Course [Return to Quick Reference]
Organization: Department of Highway Safety, Carson City, Nevada
Contact: Bruce MacKey, Program Director
Contact information: 775-687-4229 firstname.lastname@example.org
Program start date: 1993
Target audience: Law enforcement officers, teachers, and other community
volunteers who teach children of any age
Program length: 16 hours (two days)
Program summary: The Nevada Elementary Traffic Safety Program Instructor
Course is a comprehensive two-day workshop that provides participants with
the informational resources needed to develop and teach bicycle and pedestrian
safety courses. This program also includes information on how to apply for
grants to fund programs. The course fee is $50.
The course covers the following topics:
- Causes of Crashes
- Principles and Laws
- Bicycle Rodeos
- The Grant Process: How to Get Organized and Funded
- The Bicycle (Inside and Outside)
- Pedestrian Outdoor Skills
- Practical Examination Ride and Walk
In Causes of Crashes, statistics are provided on the type of behaviors
and causal conditions for pedestrian and bicycle injuries and fatalities
for both adults and children. This information reveals the dangerous traffic-related
behaviors that children most commonly display and identifies which behaviors
should be addressed in bicycle and pedestrian safety education. The 13-minute
American Automobile Association video, How Children are Different is shown.
This video examines how children physiologically and behaviorally are more
vulnerable than adults to accidents. For example, childrens peripheral
vision is only two-thirds that of adults. Education, as well as enforcement
and engineering are stressed as ways to prevent crashes.
In Principles and Laws, principles of riding in traffic and Nevada state
laws for operating bicycles in traffic are discussed, as are rules for riding
and walking on shared-use paths and trails. A pedestrian skills lesson for
kindergarten through second grade and a bicycle skills lesson for third
through fifth grade are provided. This section of the course examines age-appropriate
safety skills respectively for third, fourth, and fifth grades. It is based
on those developed in the Effective Cycling/Road I course, which is available
from the League of American Bicyclists.
This section also suggests bicycle-related activities that could be covered
in other school subjects, such as English, art, science, and geography.
Bicycle-related head injuries are discussed and proper helmet fitting methods
In Bicycle Rodeos, the purposes and methods of bicycle rodeos are discussed,
including methods for setting up small and large rodeos, their layouts,
and how to conduct them.
In The Grant Process: How to Get Organized and Funded, a step-by-step method
to apply for grants for bicycle safety education programs is discussed.
The process includes collecting data, writing problem statements and solutions,
specifying goals, objectives, activities, qualifications, evaluation methods,
and preparing a budget.
The Bicycle (Inside and Outside) examines the different types of bicycles,
bicycle parts, bicycle repair and safety-check methods, and equipment. Pedestrian
Outdoor Skills teaches safe pedestrian behavior.
Practical Examination Ride and Walk is a two-hour ride and walk that reviews
all of the bicycle and pedestrian safety skills covered in the course. A
guest speaker (police officers or representatives of an organization such
as Safe Kids) speaks to the class. For successful completion of the course,
law enforcement officers receive in-service credit and teachers receive
in-service credit or one graduate school credit.
Evaluation: There is a written (true/false and fill-in-the-blank)
25-question pre-test and 50-question post-test. Students typically improve
an average of 20 percent between the pre-test and the post-test.
In addition, there is an evaluation form about the course for the participants
Funding: Funding for the Nevada Elementary Traffic Safety Program
Instructor Course is derived partially from various grants while 50 cents
is contributed to the program from every new state vehicle drivers license
Publicity: Various methods have been used to promote the Nevada
Elementary Traffic Safety Program Instructor Course:
- Handouts at information booths at fairs and public events
- Bulletins sent to police officers by their departments
- Notices sent to teachers by school district in-service training coordinators
- Program title: Teaching Safe Bicycling (TSB)
[Return to Quick Reference]
Organization: Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Contact: JoAnne Pruitt Thunder, Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Peter Flucke, President of WE BIKE
Contact information: JoAnne Pruitt Thunder: 608-267-3154 joanne.pruitt,
Peter Flucke: 920-497-3196, email@example.com
Program start date: 1991
Target audience: Bicycle safety instructors, including police officers,
school teachers, and others who instruct elementary and middle school students
Program length: Eight hours (one day)
Program summary: The Teaching Safe Bicycling program is a one-day instructors
course for people who want to teach bicycle safety to elementary and middle
school-age children. It is offered three times per year and sponsored by the
Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT). This free course is taught by
two instructors and divided into two parts. In the morning, participants learn
about the mental and physical development stages of children and how "just
being a kid" can put them at risk. The 13-minute AAA video Children In
Traffic is shown. This video examines how children are physiologically and
behaviorally more vulnerable than adults to bicycle crashes. For example,
children have less discriminating hearing, poor depth perception, and a poor
sense of danger. The leading causes of bicycle crashes are reviewed and actual
crashes from police reports are diagrammed on a "crash board" (2
x 4 hinged metal sheet painted to look like neighborhood streets with
small movable magnetic toy cars).
In the afternoon, participants learn how to set up a bicycle rodeo. Six children,
ages nine through 11, are run through the course while the participants first
observe and then participate in the instruction of the children. Emphasis
is placed on teaching children how to avoid the greatest risks. Proper helmet
fitting and bicycle safety checks are covered prior to on-bike instruction.
The following skills are taught to the children:
- Scanning over the shoulder for traffic
- Riding out of driveways
- Stopping at a stop sign
- Avoiding obstacles
- Entering, exiting and re-entering the flow of traffic
Next, the participants do a group ride through the community, stopping
frequently to discuss different types of crashes and where and why they
happen. The three Es of traffic safety engineering, education,
and enforcement are discussed. On the bicycle ride, instructor trainees
experience first-hand the dangers children encounter on the streets. The
bicycle ride also gives riding practice to instructors who might otherwise
be out of practice.
The workshop ends with a group discussion about how community policing
can help make children safer and what participants can do to work for a
safer bicycling environment.
course outline and other supplemental literature are provided for the participants
to use in preparing their bicycle safety courses.
Funding: Funding to create the course was provided from a Section
402 Federal Highway Administration grant through the Wisconsin DOT. This
limited funding allows the course to be offered only three times annually.
Publicity: The course is promoted by the Wisconsin DOT via a newsletter
that is mailed to numerous people on their mailing list. However, the majority
of participants learn about the course through word-of-mouth.
Successes: Approximately 60 instructors are trained in this course
per year. Verbal and written participant feedback has shown that the course
has been very well received. In addition, many successful bicycle rodeos
have been conducted by TSB course participants.
Challenges: Because of limited time and resources, it is difficult
to teach enough classes. Currently, the Wisconsin DOT is only funding three
courses annually. In addition, there is no budget for publicity for the
courses. Therefore, notifying the public to fill the classes can be difficult.
Finding appropriate venues in which to hold the course can sometimes be
challenging as well.
- Program title: Home to School Safe Travel
for Children (Train-the-Trainer course) [Return to Quick Reference]
Organization: Colorado Department of Transportation
Contact: Gay Page, CDOT Bicycle/Pedestrian Program Manager
Contact information: 303-757-9982, firstname.lastname@example.org
Program start date: 1995
Target audience: Teachers, police officers, fire department staff,
and other professionals who teach bicycle and pedestrian safety to children,
Program length: Two days
Program summary: This two-day course teaches bicycle and pedestrian safety
instructors how to design their own bicycle and/or pedestrian safety program
for children in kindergarten through fifth grade. Pedestrian safety is emphasized
for earlier ages and bicycle safety is emphasized for the older children.
The course focuses on developing children's decision-making skills to become
more predictable and competent bicyclists in traffic. The objective is for
each participant to be able to design a traffic safety program that fits his
or her needs. Day One consists of lecture and hands-on activities, while Day
Two consists of showing how to teach individual exercises. Methods include
problem-solving exercises, peer training, role-playing, simulations, and demonstrations.
Each participant receives a training binder that contains all of the curriculum
materials, including the teachers guide and exercises.
The course starts with a written quiz to determine each participants
level of knowledge. Topics consist of the following: children as pedestrians,
why bicycles crash, bicycle riding, training events, visibility, helmet fitting,
Colorado bicycle and pedestrian laws, bicycle safety games, and local resources
Evaluation: No money has been available to do follow-up evaluation
studies. However, a course evaluation feedback form has provided useful information
for improving the course.
Funding: A combination of U.S. Department of Transportation and State
funds have been used to fund this program through the Colorado Department
Publicity: Initially, police departments, fire departments, and other
community organizations were contacted by mail, telephone and in person. Afterwards,
availability of this course has spread by word-of-mouth. Currently, the program
is very popular.
Successes: Instructors have found that participants typically are enthusiastic
and highly responsive, and they learn the most during the hands-on and simulation
Challenges: For the Home to School Safe Travel for Children Train-the-Trainer
course, the most challenging aspect is adapting to the diversity of agendas
among the numerous participants. Some participants want to focus on a specific
age group, or some have limitations regarding the class time available with
the students. For example, one participant may want to develop a one-hour
course and another may want to develop a six-hour course. Some participants
want canned, ready-made course materials given to them instead of a variety
of tools that allow them to design their own classes. The solution to this
diversity of agendas is for the instructor to prompt the participants to define
and state their goals and time restrictions up front. The instructor can attempt
to customize the lecture and activities as much as possible to meet each participants
needs. This will at least minimize hidden agendas that could become a problem.
Also, with numerous different agendas, in order to minimize disruption it
is important that the number of participants in the class not exceed 20.
This section describes lessons that can be learned from the bicycle safety
education programs surveyed in the previous section. The Planning Your Program
section is divided into subsections that cover the following topics:
- Funding Your Program This subsection
describes Federal Section 402 funding, as well as the other types of funding
sources that programs have used. In addition, this subsection includes basic
tips for finding alternative funding sources as well as preparing and organizing
information for writing grant proposals.
Safety Education in Public Schools This subsection discusses
how programs have been accepted into public schools and the rationale for
- Developing Partnerships This subsection
provides examples of partnerships and offers ideas for partnering that might
enhance a bicycle program.
- Alternative Venues and Subjects This
subsection examines programs surveyed, including educational goals and methods
that include and extend beyond those in a conventional bicycle safety curriculum.
- Evaluation Methods This subsection
describes the purpose of evaluation in educational programs and the various
evaluation methods that may be appropriate in bicycle safety education.
- Publicity This subsection describes
effective examples of how organizations have gained publicity for their program
and for safe bicycling practices in general.
Detailed information about each topic is presented in the following subsections.
Your Program] [Table
Funding is the lifeblood of a bicycle safety education program. The more dependent
a program is on outside funding sources, the less likely the program will be
sustained during the long term. Unfortunately, most bicycle safety programs
are dependent upon outside sources of funding. This being the case, program
staff must be creative about obtaining funding for development purposes, and
must dedicate themselves to obtaining additional funding on a regular basis
to sustain the program over succeeding years.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Section 402 Highway Safety funds
are usually available through the State Department of Transportation or State
Governor's Highway Safety Representative. The pedestrian/bicycle safety coordinator
for each state has information on how to apply for Section 402 funds. (To locate
the pedestrian/bicycle safety coordinator for your state, refer to www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bikeped/bipedcor.htm.)
These U.S. DOT funds are made available to states for traffic safety projects.
(For more information on U.S. DOT bicycle and pedestrian funding programs, refer
to Bicycle and Pedestrian Provisions of Federal Transportation Legislation on
the internet at www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bikeped/BP-Guid.htm.)
Generally, these funds are available for the first one to three years of a programs
life and can be used for development costs and possibly for equipment purchasing
costs. Often, Section 402 funds are not sufficient to fully implement the program,
depending upon its budgetary needs. Therefore, depending on the size of the
program, additional funding may be required, even for developmental purposes.
Funding is also available from the Federal Transportation Enhancements Program
for the provision of safety and educational activities for the pedestrians and
bicyclists. The State Department of Transportation bicycle/pedestrian coordinators
can be contacted for more information.
Ten of the sixteen programs surveyed obtained start-up grants from the Section
402 program. All of the programs surveyed, whether or not they obtained Section
402 funds, have required or will require additional funding sources. (The exception
is the Effective Cycling Road I course run by the Massachusetts Bicycle Council,
which is self-sustaining. The $60 student fee covers all instructor costs.)
Of the rest of the programs surveyed, only the Florida Traffic and Bicycle
Safety Education Program has obtained stable funding that is not dependent on
outside sources. After several years of temporary Section 402 funds that had
to be reapplied for annually, the Florida Department of Transportation instituted
funding for the program as part of its standard annual training budget. The
Directors position was also created as a University of Florida faculty
position. However, the Florida program is the exception; the vast majority of
bicycle safety programs must look to outside sources for funding.
Funding Sources [Planning
Below is a sample list of the funding sources that some of the surveyed bicycle
safety education programs have acquired:
- BikeEd, Hawaii: grants from Honolulu city and county; revenue from city
bicycle licensing fees
- Bicycle Safety Education Program, Maine: membership dues to the Bicycle
Coalition of Maine
- Recycle a Bike, New York: New York City Department of Sanitation (based
on bicycle recycling activity); revenue from participant-run retail bicycle
shops (repairs and sales)
- SuperCyclist, Texas: Subaru of America, Inc. (funding and two cars)
- BIPED, Wilmington, Delaware: 4-H Cooperative Extension Service (served as
an agent for acquiring grants from numerous small organizations)
- Helmet Your Brain Avoid the Pain, Phoenix Children's Hospital: community
fund-raising events; sales of this educational program
- Bike Lesson And Safety Training (BLAST), Los Angeles, California: California
State Department of Health Services; membership dues to Youth Educational
Sports (YES) Foundation
- Kids on Bikes, Reno, Nevada: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (based
on bicycle recycling program)
This variety of sources illustrates how important creativity is when identifying
potential funding sources.
Tips for Finding and Preparing
Below are some general tips on how to locate potential grant source organizations
and prepare for the grant application process.
- Identify key topic or program areas related to your program (for example,
transportation, sports, recreation, child injury prevention). Then identify
organizations that serve those program areas (for example, state department
of transportation, auto manufacturers, bicycle manufacturers, bicycle stores,
sports organizations, hospitals, and insurance companies).
- Prepare information that will be used in a proposal or presentation.
- State the problem. Prepare a description of the problem that your bicycle
safety program will address. Use real, quantitative data. For example, cite
numbers of bicycle-related injuries and deaths. (National fatality and injury
data is available at www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov.)
- Describe specifically how your program relates to the program areas and
interests of each organization that you identified in Step A..
- State your solution to the problem. Describe the bicycle safety education
program, its overall goal, and write a list of objectives. Use the "SMART"
rule of thumb to write objectives. Objectives should be:
- State specifically how the program will meet each objective.
- Describe the evaluation methods for measuring how successful the program
is at attaining the stated objectives. The methods should be designed to
produce quantitative data. Most funding organizations prefer that quantitative
data be included in grant proposals.
- Describe why the proposed program staff are qualified to carry out the
program. Prepare staff resumes.
- Develop the program budget in detail.
- Contact the potential funding source organizations that you identified
in Step A. Many organizations will have public relations staff that oversee
grant programs. Even a small organization that generally does not have a grant
program may be a potential funding source. If you have prepared your information,
as described in Step B above, you may be able to convince such an organization
that your program and its mission are a worthwhile investment.
- Sustain the program over the long term this can be challenging.
A key to getting continued support is reinventing" the program
as new funding cycles approach. In other words, over time, the program should
evolve in phases. All the ideas for the program should not be stated in the
same grant proposal. Be prepared to shift the focus of your program or expand
it to involve other partner organizations.
Education in Public Schools [Planning
A common theme among most bicycle safety education programs surveyed for this
guide is that they target youths in schools. For example, of the sixteen programs
surveyed, twelve programs target youths at schools or, through instructor training,
prepare instructors who will teach youths at schools. Of the thirteen programs
targeting school youths, twelve contain lessons for elementary school children,
six contain lessons for middle-school children, and four contain materials for
high school youths. (Most of these programs have more than one audience.) Keep
in mind that bicycle safety curricula should be developmentally appropriate.
Because schools have the organizational infrastructure in place, many bicycle
safety educators believe that public schools are a natural venue for bicycle
safety education. Two of the sixteen programs surveyed are not school-based,
but have age-appropriate lessons for elementary, middle, and high school age
A second common theme is that bicycle (and pedestrian) safety education should
be incorporated into the public school curriculum from early elementary grades
through high school as a continuous educational experience that promotes biking
and walking as healthy, safe, lifelong activities.
However, competition for the time and attention of teachers overburdened by
requirements of other high-visibility academic curricula (like math, English,
and science) makes it difficult to convince some school administrators of the
need for bicycle safety in schools. This provides the rationale for creating
programs like bicycle riding clubs and after-school clubs, such as the After
School Bike Club in the City of Madison, Wisconsin and the Ride Club thats
part of the Recycle a Bike program in New York City. These non-school-based
programs can also be advantageous because they are not restricted to narrow
curriculum topics, methods, or time limitations of a typical school. (Refer
to Alternative Venues and Subjects).
Many programs have been successful in convincing school administrators that
they need to implement a bicycle safety program. Following are some reasons
that various program staff have successfully offered as rationale for bringing
bicycle safety into public schools:
- A public health and safety issue Bicycle safety is a major
public health and safety issue. In 2000, bicyclists under age 16 accounted
for 28 percent of all bicyclists killed and 40 percent of those injured in
traffic-related bicycle crashes in the United States. (This and other bicycle
injury-related data can be downloaded on an Adobe PDF document on NHTSA Web
Even though some students don't ride bicycles, many do and bicycle safety
education can modify the bicycle riding behaviors that lead to crashes. For
a comprehensive list of Web site links to data on bicycle-related injuries
and fatalities, refer to the following Harbor View Medical Center Injury and
Research Center Web sites: depts.washington.edu/hiprc/links/transportation.html
- Helmet use education can reduce head injuries and fatalities Most
children do not wear helmets while riding bicycles, however wearing helmets
and doing so properly is critical for their safety. The Insurance Institute
for Highway Safety has reported that 90 percent of bicyclists killed in year
2000 were not wearing helmets (www.hwysafety.org/safety_facts/bikes.htm.)
NHTSA has reported that bicycle helmets are 85 to 88 percent effective in
mitigating head and brain injuries in all types of bicycle incidents, making
the use of helmets the single most effective countermeasure available to reduce
head injuries and fatalities resulting from bicycle crashes (www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/pubs/3.pdf.)
The Center for Disease Control has reported that 140,000 children are treated
each year in emergency departments for head injuries sustained while bicycling.
This and other related data is available at: www.cdc.gov/ncipc/factsheets/bikehel.htm.
Also on Harbor View Medical Center Injury and Research Center Web sites: depts.washington.edu/hiprc/childinjury/topic/bicycles/helmeteffect.html
An increasing number of states (such as California and Florida) have enacted
or are planning to enact child bicycle helmets laws. Therefore, bicycle safety
education that emphasizes proper helmet fitting and use should be taught in
schools, where the information can reach the greatest number of youths. (For
state bicycle helmet law information, refer to: www.hwysafety.org/safety_facts/state_laws/helmet_use.htm.)
Proper helmet use is always included in bike safety education.
- A healthy, lifelong, inclusive sport Bicycling is an athletic
activity, a sport that can be taught in schools just like other traditional
sports. Bicycling is an inclusive, non-competitive sport in which all students,
regardless of athletic ability or body type, can participate. It is also a
lifelong health-promoting activity.
- Part of a physical education curriculum Because of its injury
prevention and physical sport and health aspects, bicycle safety education
fits comfortably into health and physical education curricula.
- An environmentally responsible alternative transportation
Children should be encouraged from a young age to ride bicycles as a preferable
form of transportation whenever possible. Riding bicycles as an alternative
method of transportation to motorized vehicles enhances community aesthetics
and is advantageous for several reasons:
- Reduces air and sound pollution
- Reduces traffic congestion
- Is a fun, safe (when practicing safe bicycling), and healthy social
Refer to Alternative Venues and Subjects for examples
of progressive bicycle education programs that promote educational lessons beyond
traditional bicycle safety.
Developing partnerships with other organizations has proved useful for promoting,
among other things, the acceptance of bicycle safety programs into public schools.
For example, an elementary school bicycle safety program called BIPED was developed
in 1988 as a successful collaboration between two organizations. The White Clay
Bicycle Club in Wilmington, Delaware, created BIPED, then approached the Cooperative
Extension Service (CES) 4-H organization to help implement it. (CES is part
of the University of Delawares Department of Agriculture.) CES had already
instituted school programs locally and had established comfortable and trusting
working relationships with several local public schools. BIPED benefited from
CESs credibility in the school community and was immediately embraced
CES handles all promotional and logistical aspects of the program, including
sending announcement letters to schools, scheduling classes, and pre-class site
visits to distribute materials. Also, CES has had numerous years of experience
in fundraising and was able to secure grant money for BIPED from several sources.
Partnering with other school-affiliated organizations such as parent teacher
associations (PTAs) will help a programs visibility and credibility with
schools as well as attract attention from students parents. Parental support
of the SuperCyclist program in Texas is, in large part, due to its affiliation
with PTAs and other credible organizations such as the Texas Medical Association.
This has helped its acceptance into many school districts across Texas. As a
result of these relationships, vast student populations are becoming available
for participation in the SuperCyclist program.
While partnering with other organizations can help a program increase its visibility
and credibility, it can also help gain access to many other resources. Partnering
with various community organizations can make available knowledge about fundraising,
publicity opportunities, equipment loans or donations, and other useful information,
expertise, and resources. Here are some additional organizations to consider
when seeking partnerships:
- Highway safety and injury prevention of organizations
- Local business associations
- Bicycle riding clubs
- Bicycle retail stores
- Bicycle manufacturers
- Radio stations and the local media
- American Red Cross
- Service organizations
- Health associations, hospitals, and HMOs
- Individual businesses
- Professional/semi-professional sport teams
For more information on establishing partnerships, obtain a copy of the Ride
Like a Pro Community Handbook (October 1999) available free from NHTSA..(Under
Topics, select Bicycle and Helmet Safety, then select 6P0145, Ride Like a Pro
Venues and Subjects [Planning
Your Program] [Table
While not benefiting from a ready-made venue, student population, or organizational
infrastructure, non-school-based programs can have advantages. Non-school-based
programs are not restricted to narrow curriculum topics, fixed instructional
methods, or time limitations of a typical school.
Off-Campus Programs [Planning
Your Program] [Table
Schools are obviously not the only venues for bicycle safety education. Community
centers and park and recreation centers are common locations for bicycle safety
classes for both youths and adults. For example, the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition
conducts its adult bicycle safety program, based on the League of American Bicyclists
Effective Cycling/Road I course, at local community centers several times a
The After School Bike Club, piloted during the summer of 2001 by the City of
Madison, Wisconsin, is also a program for middle school-age children. It has
the explicit goal of having fun bicycle field trips, while "sneaking in"
the less attractive (to children) and implicit goal of teaching bicycle safety
education along the way.
The Kids on Bikes program in Reno, Nevada, has traditional bicycle safety and
bicycle rodeo components, but also has nontraditional activities, such as refurbishing
and giving bicycles as well as helmets to underprivileged youths. Kids on Bikes
activities are not currently being conducted in schools, but are being held
at community centers, recreation centers, and public events, including a "Childs
Fair" (in April 2000).
Progressive Bicycle Education
Your Program] [Table
Having the freedom to develop a youth program that is not part of a school
can be advantageous. Such a program is not restricted to public school curriculum
requirements, time frames, or geographical radius limitations during bicycle
rides. Innovative, progressive educational programs that have bicycle safety
at their core but also address broader community values can and do succeed,
and provide excellent opportunities for partnering with other groups that have
The Earn a Bike program and the Ride Club, both developed by Recycle a Bike
in New York City, have several educational goals in addition to bicycle safety.
They teach environmental values, recycling, bicycle mechanics, retail business
operation, and bicycling as a healthy, fun activity. This is done through the
programs ride clubs, bicycle recycling, and bicycle repair and sales shop.
The Earn a Bike program also provides economically disadvantaged youths opportunities
to earn bicycles. This program is headquartered in its bicycle repair and retail
The Youth Educational Sports Foundation (YES) in Los Angeles supplements its
Bicycle Lessons and Safety Transportation (BLAST) elementary, middle and high
school programs with summer activities that resemble the Recycle a Bike program
in New York City. Used, broken bicycles are donated to YES and youths learn
how to repair the bicycles. A child earns the bicycle when it passes a safety
inspection. YES makes sure that the bicycle earning program is available to
economically underprivileged youths. These various activities usually take place
in schools, but some of the riding activities also occur in parks where the
youths can safely practice.
The Hawaii Bicycling League (HBL), which was
started in 1989 and sponsors the BikeEd Hawaii bicycle safety program, offers
an excellent example of an organization whose educational goals include but
extend beyond traditional bicycle safety. The efforts of HBL are driven by a
holistic, integrated vision of healthy livable communities in which safe bicycling
practice is one of many goals relating to quality of life. Its Web site states:
HBL envisions Hawaii's neighborhoods as truly livable communities,
where people of all ages can safely and comfortably arrive at their destinations
no matter which transportation mode they may choose. HBL believes that cooperation
among cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists is fundamental not only to increase
transportation safety but also improve the quality of life for all of Hawaii's
The HBL sponsors several events and programs in areas such as:
- Pedestrian safety for first graders
- Non-competitive family cycling events
- Mountain biking competitions
- Mountain biking trail maintenance
- Technical assistance for decisionmakers in the policy areas of bicycle
facility planning, transportation, and livable communities
- Political advocacy in transportation, planning, and bicycle and helmet legislation
For information on opportunities
to plan and develop bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly facilities in the community,
refer to the FHWA Web site. In addition, for information on creating livable
neighborhoods that are designed in a manner that address the needs of all residents,
including bicyclists and pedestrians, refer to the Web site of the Local
Your Program] [Table
Measuring the effectiveness of a bicycle safety education program provides
information that is useful in two ways: (1) it can help in making decisions
about how to improve the program, and (2) it can be used to demonstrate success
in achieving stated objectives, which also supports further funding. Program
sponsors are often very interested in this data because it underscores the success
of the program and may identify the areas that need improvement and expansion.
Some sponsors may not require evaluation methods beyond basic program participant
counts and narrative summaries of the course. But the more rigorous the evaluation
methods are in measuring results, the more credible the program will be. This
can increase the ability to improve the program and benefit future funding activities.
Two general types of evaluations are discussed below: (1) evaluation of students
knowledge and skills retention, and (2) program evaluation.
Evaluation of Students
Knowledge and Skills Retention [Planning
Your Program] [Table
Most of the programs surveyed use written post-tests or a combination of written
pre-tests and post-tests, usually in multiple-choice, true/false, and fill in
the blank formats. When the pre-tests and post-tests are used together, each
students attainment of knowledge during the course can be measured. Also
common among the programs surveyed are questionnaires completed by students
and/or teachers. They provide feedback about how effective the program is and
how it can be improved. Another method for evaluating effectiveness is a student
on-bike skills demonstration test, which can usually be done at a bicycle rodeo.
Your Program] [Table
Observations of bicycle operation, helmet use, and following rules of the road
can be objectively documented. Observers can be posted at high congestion areas
near the school, such as the parking lot and playground. Ideally, the data is
collected before training and at different post-training intervals for
example, immediate, one month, and three months to indicate the degree
to which the skills, knowledge, and abilities are retained over time. Finally,
pre- and post-training information about bicycle-related injury and death rates
can be collected for a given training population that may indicate the degree
to which safety skills are being practiced. However, this data requires a vast
population for the results to be statistically significant, and the methodological
difficulties of this data collection can be a challenge.
Your Program] [Table
Publicity is often critical to the success of a bicycle safety education program.
However, program budgets rarely include advertising. Therefore, publicity for
a bicycle safety education program requires creative approaches. Word-of-mouth,
especially after a program is established, can be powerful publicity. Newly
developed programs usually require more proactive efforts in getting publicity
because the general publics knowledge of the program and word-of-mouth
networks do not yet exist. Calling and visiting schools and potentially interested
organizations is a good starting point. For example, BikeEd in Hawaii had to
contact schools and make presentations during its formative years in the late
1980s and early 1990s. Currently, the program is so popular among schools that
schools must reserve the program one year in advance. Its broad popularity is
largely due to the word-of-mouth networks that have developed over the years.
Following is a list of publicity methods used by the various programs surveyed.
Except for the time spent to develop them, most of these methods are free or
- Contact organizations by phone
- Make presentations in person
- Send information through the school internal mail system or teacher newsletters
- Enlist the service of television and radio stations to make public service
- Publicize program activities in member organizations newsletters, e-mail
newsletters, and events calendars
- Create and display posters and flyers in public places
- Create and sell or give away promotional T-shirts (advertising the program
and its Web site)
- Send press releases to and/or call newspapers, magazines (bicycle and other),
television, radio and other news agencies so that program events may be covered
- Design bumper stickers and flyers and give them out during events
Enlist sports arenas, fields, or stadiums to make public service announcements
(for example, baseball game intercom announcements)
Partnerships with other organizations, as mentioned previously, can lead to
excellent publicity opportunities. For example, the Safe Children Coalition
of Maricopa County, Arizona, in cooperation with county schools and the Diamondbacks
professional baseball organization, conduct an annual helmet design contest
among fourth through sixth graders across the county. Letters are sent to school
principals and art and physical education teachers that contain information
about the Helmet Your BrainAvoid the Pain© program and a blank drawing
of a bicycle helmet. Students draw a helmet design using Diamondback colors.
Thousands of entries are received and a panel of judges selects five finalists.
At a Diamondbacks baseball game, fans vote for their favorite helmet artwork
based on the five designs viewed on the jumbo screen. A public service announcement
encouraging helmet use and a promotion of the Helmet Your BrainAvoid the
Pain© program is also made by the announcer during the game and at other
baseball games for months before and after the contest. The winning design is
made into custom-helmet decals by a graphics company that donates its services.
Helmets adorned with the winning design are given to the winner's classmates
and teacher, and the four other finalists. During the next baseball game, the
winner and finalists bicycle into the ballpark and participate in a pre-game
on-field ceremony wearing the winning design helmets and T-shirts, and the winner
is presented with a trophy.
In this case, a fun activity (the helmet design contest) was created as a way
to generate publicity about the program to deliver a valuable public service
message (wear bicycle helmets). The Diamondbacks baseball organization readily
cooperates by spreading the public service message about helmets and the educational
program, lending their high visibility name and the use of the jumbo screen
to broadcast the message. This effort has greatly increased demand for the program
in schools throughout the region. It also helps counter the negative stigma
among children about wearing helmets and spreads the message that helmets really
Starting a bicycle safety education program should be a team effort. Recruiting
supporters, such as program staff members, public schools,
or funding organizations, can be one of the biggest challenges in the early
stages of development. A key to gaining the attention of potential supporters
is to develop a solid rationale for the programs existence. Your grant
proposals, presentations, or other startup documentation should include the
reasons for the existence of the program. Specifically state what problem (or
problems) in the community the program addresses, for example, bicycle-related
injuries. Use statistics or other data available to illuminate and quantify
the problem. Then state how the implementation of your program may improve the
stated problem through demonstrably attainable goals and objectives. This information
will provide the foundation for why your program should be implemented and what
you intend to accomplish.
Funding is critical to the life of a program. A major concern for educators
is how to sustain funding for a program after it has been created. Federal "Section
402" money was used for startup costs for most of the programs surveyed.
Your program may be eligible for Federal Section 402 funding, but only for developmental
costs in the programs initial stages. (The pedestrian/bicycle safety coordinator
for each state has information on how to apply for Section 402 funds.) Other
sources of funding will be required to sustain the program, so your team will
need to be creative about obtaining funding in succeeding years.
Partnering with schools obviously can benefit a bicycle safety education program.
Schools provide the ready-made venue, student population, organizational infrastructure,
and human and other critical resources. Partnering with other organizations
that have mutual interests can also help a bicycle safety program succeed. For
instance, partnerships can help increase a programs visibility and credibility,
as well as gain access to equipment, knowledge, funding, publicity, and other
resources. A majority of the programs surveyed are based in public schools.
However, some educators may have difficulty convincing school administrators
to incorporate bicycle education into their school curricula. When approaching
school administrators, be prepared to point out how a bicycle education program
can be beneficial to both the school and the students.
An innovative educational program that takes a nontraditional approach to bicycling
can generate a great deal of excitement and interest among educators, participants,
parents, and other community members. Some of the programs surveyed include
educational goals and methods that extend beyond a conventional bicycle safety
curriculum. These programs use bicycling as an educational vehicle for addressing
other areas like health and physical fitness, business skills, mechanical skills,
and environment/recycling issues. In addition, some programs seek to legitimize
bicycling as a sport that should be taught in schools just like other traditional
Program evaluation may serve different purposes. It can provide information
about how well the lessons are understood, demonstrated, and retained by the
participants. Evaluation data can measure the degree to which the learning objectives
are attained. This data may be useful in improving a program and for justifying
its existence and continuation to sponsors.
Finally, a programs visibility in the community is often critical to its
continuation and success. Many parents, youths, school administrators, and members
of the community in general are not aware of the importance of bicycle safety
education. The public needs to be educated about the importance of bicycle safety
in their neighborhoods so that demand and support can be generated. Most programs
do not have an advertising budget, so an organization needs to be creative in
how it publicizes its activities.
Good luck in your efforts to help build a bicycle-safe community.
For more information about this document, contact Tamara Broyhill at (202) 366-4077
or by e-mailing email@example.com.