Monday, September 14, 2009

Student killed riding bike to school

Inspired by Anna's comment about safety while biking to school, I Googled for "student killed riding bike to school" and got 71,000 results.

How about "student killed driving to school"? 11,200,000 results.

And school districts succeed in banning cycling and walking to school while ignoring the real safety issue, enforcing mandatory car ownership with State Patrol backup!

Noddin Elementary School in San Jose, California currently bans bikes, but after action by Dave of City Cycles, Yours Truly, John Brazil with the city of San Jose, and several others, the school will change their policy beginning next month after they hold school assemblies to teach bike safety. Your voice can make a difference in these policies!


  1. I still don't get it. If roads are public, and the school is public, can they really ban using a vehicle legally? What are the consequences for riding to school in these cases?

    If it were me, I'd either ride to school and lock up with 3 huge chains, or just ride to the property line and lock it up there.

    I imagine the only reason why they want to ban bikes is because they don't want to drive on the same road with them, and decided to bully kids off their bikes instead of promoting a safe and healthy way to get to school. I'd love to see a critical mass of school kids riding to school against the rules though!

  2. Results 1 - 10 of about 842,000 for Student killed driving to school. (0.11 seconds)

    Why was my result so much lower clicking through your link? The biking link was lower too but only by a few thousands, not several millions.

  3. Good job to you and the others on getting that policy changed at your school. It is important to remind people that a few voices can make a big difference.

  4. I suspect schools legally *can't* ban biking to school, but kids can't hire lawyers.

  5. ...awesome effort, fritz & one w/ ultimately positive long term ramifications...

    ...besides those assemblies teaching bicycle safety, those kids ought to be taught the health & environmental aspects of riding to school...

    ..."no, mom...i don't wanna ride to school in that big suv you just wastes lots a' gas & i learned we're supposed to save stuff like if i ride my bike i'm helping to save the planet & maybe i won't get sick all the time like you n' daddy !!!"...

  6. I agree with those who suspect the schools can't really legally bar students from biking to school, but they have an awfully big bully pulpit don't they? And that thing in Saratoga, NY where they got the State Police to back them up? And Noddin Elementary's previous parent handbook implie that the San Jose Police Department back the school up on the ban.

    @James & @BGW - thanks for the props. I tried to get some local parents involved but couldn't identify any, so I went straight to the city of San Jose bicycle program coordinator John Brazil, who took action from there and arranged a meeting with the school district. It was Dave from City Cycles all the way in the East Bay who first brought it to attention.

  7. @Grendel -- quotes, perhaps? or maybe misspelling?