This week has seen a school in the UK introduce a system that will require its pupils to display a number plate on their bicycle when cycling to and from school. This cycle registration scheme is being brought in as it has been reported that the children of Stanley Park High, South London, in some instance, are putting themselves and others in danger. Any pupil not displaying a number plate will not be allowed to ride his or her bicycle to school. The school’s motives are good, however they have received backlash from cyclists and cycle advocates who believe the scheme will deter the students from cycling altogether.

Whilst the scheme has received a mixed response, it does raise the important question of how we can promote safer cycling amongst school aged riders.

Here are our tips:

  1. Run in-school training on basic bike safety for all pupils who want to ride to/from school. There are a number of cycling proficiency schemes available to schools.
  2. Although not a legal requirement in the UK, we suggest you wear a helmet when out on your bike. You may not think it’s cool, but trust us, it could save your life!
  3. Don’t wear earphones, you need to be aware of your surroundings and with music playing full blast, you may not be able to hear everything that is going on around you.
  4. Always signal clearly, you need to let others know your intentions.
  5. Familiarise yourself with the highway code, you can find a copy online here 
  6. When cycling in the dark it’s even more important than ever to make sure you’re clearly seen. Your bike needs a white front light, a red rear light and reflectors, you may want to consider reflective strips on your clothing/school bag.
  7. Be considerate of others when using cycle lanes and/or if in the situation where you have to venture onto the pavement for safety reasons. Remember, you can always dismount your bicycle and push it along.
  8. Always be aware of other road users, cars, buses, lorries, vans, pedestrians, other cyclists, emergency vehicles, tractors, horses……you get the idea!