Waitakere’s first fulltime BIKE WEST Co-ordinator
21 January 2005
SAFE CYCLING WITH FENELLA
Meet Waitakere’s first fulltime BIKE WEST Co-ordinator, Fenella Murdoch.
If you’re a Year 6 student, there’s a good chance you’ll meet Fenella. It’s her job to help school children learn how to cycle safely in Waitakere City.
“It’s really important for 10-year-olds to have cycling skills before they ride on the road. Knowledge of road conditions and rules is equally important,” says Fenella.
The BIKE WEST training programme is aimed at Year 6 students in the hope that schools and parents support the Police and LTSA policy of not cycling on the road until the age of 10 years, unless they are supervised and have had cycle training.
When students start intermediate they need to be at least partly prepared for the road, an increasingly hazardous environment.
Waitakere City Council’s Road Safety team, Safe Waitakere, LTSA, Bike West and Road Sense have jointly developed BIKE WEST for Waitakere City Schools. Teachers (preferably Year 6) are trained and provided with resources. The BIKE WEST training programme includes buying and fitting safety helmets, bike safety check, riding skills-bike control and road rules.
BIKE WEST has been developed to meet a shortfall for cycle safety programmes available in the schools, says Waitakere City’s Senior Road Safety Co-ordinator Kitch Cuthbert.
“We are focusing on Year 6 because studies show they are the most at risk of severe cycle injuries. One of the best things about this programme is the fun the children have when they try out the cycles on the road, after they have been thoroughly tutored in the classroom,” says Ms Cuthbert.