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Safe age to walk to school

General Transport Discussion not specific to one state

Safe age to walk to school

Postby Roderick Smith » Sat Jun 17, 2017 11:18 pm

170514Su Melbourne 'Herald Sun' - school walking age.

I was walking to school much earlier, possibly 6, and certainly 7. I wasn't always with the neighbourhood gang, but usually would have been. There were no busy roads to cross.
After relocating, I was walking to my new school at 8 turning 9, usually with the neighbourhood gang. We never went to the school crossing, as that involved an overshoot from our street.
Allied of course is the age for riding public transport to school solo. Certainly age 11-12 (entering high school), but lots of private-school primary-age kids are riding, and I guess down to grade 4 (8-9) from what I see at my local station.

In Victoria, one hazard was the doctrinaire closure of schools so that the land could be sold to developers. Local primary schools were no longer as local, and were no longer as walker friendly.

Roderick.
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Re: Safe age to walk to school

Postby boronia » Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:23 am

Harold Scruby is a bit of a nutter who likes seeing his name in the papers or on TV.

He seems to have lots of opinions about anything road related, but seems to lack knowledge of the issues involved.

The "Pedestrian Council" seems to be a one man band, with him playing all the instruments.
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Re: Safe age to walk to school

Postby scott » Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:01 pm

I was walking to school on my own, when I was 8 years old (starting in grade 3), plenty of other kids and parents around, but things were different in 1991, nobody lost sleep over it.
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Re: Safe age to walk to school

Postby 1whoknows » Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:25 pm

I caught the bus to school on my own for primary, except for day 1 when mum came with me, and rode my bike to secondary - bus on a few days when bike was u/s.
I was never driven to school other than for parent teacher evenings or school fetes etc on Saturdays. Rode my tricycle all over the neighborhood until twilight early on then my bike all over south east Melb as a teen.
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Re: Safe age to walk to school

Postby captainch » Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:15 pm

US WRINKLIES walked 2 miles to school NO SCHOOL BUS in those days if we took our time we copped a hiding ,Because we had jobs to do there were 9 of us & sometimes we walked barefooted, but it did us no harm & I'M
73 NOW! :shock: :oops: :lol:
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Re: Safe age to walk to school

Postby boronia » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:36 pm

"categorically, the right age is 10".

The are so many variables involved in children walking to school, it is not something that can be defined with a simple statement and age cut in. The maturity of the child, the conditions encountered during the walk, the training the child has received from its parents/carers in the preceding years, etc.

All too often I see adults leading children into potentially dangerous scenarios. Rarely do I see adults reinforcing the "look before crossing the road" mantra, sometimes they don't even look themselves.

So it becomes the poor old motorist who cops all the restrictions and penalties, while the pedestrian gets off scott free.
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Re: Safe age to walk to school

Postby captainch » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:14 pm

As a former bus driver for many years I watched little kids scream as they had never been on a bus before,They were allways in mums car they would ask weres the seat belt/ OR THERES NO BOSTER SEATS' & AT the first stop they would see kids get off & get of as well then you would have a tearfull mother looking for her kidd I feel mothers should take their kids for a few bus rides before they start school.a bus is a huge thing that can scare them! seen it happen many times! :roll:
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Re: Safe age to walk to school

Postby krustyklo » Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:04 am

All too often I see adults leading children into potentially dangerous scenarios. Rarely do I see adults reinforcing the "look before crossing the road" mantra, sometimes they don't even look themselves.

All too often I see parents/carers setting a bad example for kids. Often I walk to work along a main road with signalised intersections, including past a primary school around the time parents/carers are starting to take kids there. Whilst I think it's great parents/carers are walking their kids to school, it's not so great when said parents/carers ignore the lights and cross with the red man instead of waiting for the green...
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Re: Safe age to walk to school

Postby captainch » Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:43 am

Noticed yesterday a "YUPPIE" mother in a large 4x4 on the opposite side of the road to school.................yelling to little johnny rum across the road...........trounle was 3 school buses were double parked because bus stop was full of cars!.............Yes you guessed it little Johnny ran out in front of parked buses & was hit by a car hope he's ok but then the stupid mother was trying to nlame the poor bus driver she shut up when bokked by police for being in a no stopping zone & blocking the ped crossing should have lost her lience........................you see this every day hit them hard with fines & loss of lience they might learn when they have to walk their little darlings to school! :evil: :twisted:
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Now Uber for kids

Postby Roderick Smith » Mon Aug 28, 2017 11:17 am

They should be walking, cycling or on public transport.
Roderick
August 28 2017 Kids on wheels: the Uber alternatives for kids.
Being mum's, or dad's, taxi is a bane for Australian parents. The solution, of course, is an app.
A growing number of specialised transport services are catering to families trying to get their kids around safely. Inspired by Uber, these start-ups are driving a surge in the kid-friendly ridesharing space.
Georgina McEncroe has launched ridesharing company Shebah. Photo: Mathew Lynn A natural business extension FamilyCab was a natural business extension for Lewis and Mel Cann, of Perth Designated Drivers – an enterprise they've owned since 2010. The Canns saw a steady rise in families requesting childseats and launched FamilyCab last year.
"FamilyCab is like a taxi service for people who want car seats for their kids," Lewis says.
"For what we're doing at the moment, the majority of it is to and from the airport because that's the one instance where just about every family recognises they need a car seat in a car that's not their own."
Competition in Perth is limited, allowing the Canns to turn over $150,000 in the seven months since they launched. Expanding to other states is now on their agenda.
"I still get calls virtually every week, someone from Sydney or Melbourne, who has got excited and called to make a booking and I have to tell them, 'Sorry, we're only in Perth'," Lewis says.
"No one else here does it exclusively, it's always been the sort of thing a charter vehicle company has offered. But we've got the best seats, it's all top of the range and the guys all know how to install them.
"Everyone's trained in this area and the website is completely geared to answer all the questions a parent might have."
Lewis says FamilyCab charges consumers "slightly more than taxi rates" and employs seven drivers. However, the company doesn't cater to unaccompanied child passengers.
"We would need to set up a few more systems before we go down that path," Lewis says.
"We've only done it in circumstances where it's a previous customer and the child's not completely unfamiliar with us and the parents trust us because we've been driving them regularly.
“We know a lot of parents put their kids in a Uber out of desperation, but there's a fear factor that comes with that.”
Michelle Newton
"I know it's something that people want, it has been mentioned to me, but we're pretty busy as we are so I haven't devoted a lot of time to it."
Building trust
Parents juggling the headache of children with multiple extra-curricular activities have been using Uber as an extra pair of hands behind the wheel. But Uber rules ban anyone aged under 18 from travelling when unaccompanied by an adult. The same rules in the US have cleared the way for services like HopSkipDrive to appeal to overburdened parents.
But what would happen to fledgling child transfer start-ups if Uber decided to change its rules and shuttle children around?
"We're really working towards building the trust with parents and I don't think Uber will have that," says Michelle Newton, co-founder of Stretch Ride.
"We know a lot of parents put their kids in a Uber out of desperation, but there's a fear factor that comes with that.
"So what we're trying to do is build the trust and alleviate any doubts or concerns that parents might have. People have said, 'You're Uber for kids' and we're not really, because Uber isn't interviewing all their drivers personally, they don't have Working with Children Checks, they don't have police checks and their drivers don't need to have experience with childcare like ours do."
Care drivers
Stretch Ride, named after the stretched parents it aims to assist, launches this month in Sydney's CBD and plans to start in Melbourne afterwards.
The service is manned by "care drivers" who can be booked to drive children aged seven and older to extra-curricular activities, school or appointments. The drivers can also be hired to wait for the children during their activity and then drive them home. All of this can be tracked in real time by parents using the app.
Car rides for kids aren't the only Uber spin-off with female-only ridesharing services shebah and SheSafe hitting the market last year. Both companies also carry children and shebah founder George McEncroe says this has become a surprisingly large part of her business.
"I didn't know it would be so much a part of the business – the transportation of children is about half of our business," she says.
www.theage.com.au/small-business/startu ... xy60a.html
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Driven to school

Postby Roderick Smith » Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:55 pm

170829Tu Melbourne 'Herald Sun' - driven to school.
We look at it from a transport perspective. Here is a health one.
I live in a private-school belt, where there is extensive commuting by train and tram by students from about grade 5 up.
What has shown since 1975 is the almost complete vanishing of cycling to local secondary schools: some bus, lots of being driven.

Roderick.
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Re: Safe age to walk to school

Postby petepot » Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:46 pm

To be 10 years old to cross the road seems to me a bit of a stretch. Starting from 8 kids should be quite capable of going by themselves not far from home, shopping in nearest stores and I can't see the problem with teaching them the rules by that age. May be self-driving cars will be able to solve the problem with school buses once and for all, though we need to wait till 2021 at least (by then BMW, Ford, General Motors, Toyota and Volkswagen promise to introduce self-driving cars to the market https://tranio.com/world/spotlight/self ... rket_5354/ ) There is a hilarious video about self-driving bicycles that can drive kids https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSZPNwZex9s But it looks very insecure to me
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Re: Safe age to walk to school

Postby Liamena » Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:42 pm

I walked to school at 5 and took a bus and train when I was eleven, never rode a bike though, the primary school was too close to bother.

This has become quite a controversy in Canada recently. In Ontario, it is illegal to leave child under 16 at home, so if you 15 year old child is at home doing their homework and you need to go to the supermarket to get some food, you either have to drag them along or call a babysitter, who might be 15 themself.
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Re: Safe age to walk to school

Postby Roderick Smith » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:33 pm

Roderick.

December 5 2017 'I shouldn't have to justify it': Peer pressure keeps kids from walking to school .
Why don't parents let their children walk to school, or go out alone without an adult?
Fear of strangers or hurtling traffic might be the obvious answer.
Henry, 11, Annabel, 8, and Tom Feeney, 10, walk to school by themselves. Photo: Darrian Traynor .
But many parents are worried that other parents, friends and teachers will disapprove, and judge them, according to a comprehensive survey of Victorian parents from the Judith Lumley Centre at La Trobe University.
Almost 1800 parents of children aged nine to 15 were interviewed on the phone about the social, environmental and other factors that made them think twice about letting their children walk to school alone, or play in the neighbourhood without an adult.
And the perceived disapproval of family and friends was one of the strongest factors, says La Trobe researcher Shannon Bennetts.
"Parents are taking cues from other families in their school as a reference point," says Dr Bennetts.
"Social norms and community norms are shaping parent's decisions about letting their children be independently mobile."
This finding was no great surprise to Erin Feeney, whose three children Henry 11, Tom, 10 and Annabel, eight, walk about a kilometre from their home to Balwyn Primary each day alone.
Their journey to school includes crossing a busy intersection.
The children began making their own way to school when Henry was nine, because Ms Feeney had to drop Annabel at an after-school class and didn't want to pay for babysitting.
She "trained" them initially, walking behind them to observe how they reacted to traffic, and she still does not let them use a ball or scooter to prevent distractions.
They also have to ring by 4pm when they get home, and the neighbours have a key.
Some fellow parents were very positive, and offered to keep an eye on the children en route and report back if they weren't being sensible.
But others told her she was doing the wrong thing.
"After it happened a few times I felt I had to justify it by explaining the training we had done with them," Ms Feeney says.
"I shouldn't have to justify it."
"But I also had parents say to me that [not letting their own children walk to school by themselves] was more about them, about not being able to let go."
One in four Australian children is now overweight or obese.
Strategies to encourage the state's increasingly-sedentary children to walk to school have focused on forming "walking buses", changing traffic and pavement infrastructure and signage to encourage walking.
But Dr Bennetts said strategies that focus on the built environment have been shown to increase children's independent mobility in the short term, but don't create sustained change.
It might be more effective to focus on the social factors, she said.
The research found parents with daughters and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds were particularly concerned about strangers harming their children.
This reflects community awareness of violence against women and cultural differences about what's appropriate for children, researchers said.
Giving a mobile phone to a child aged 10 to 13 – the transition age between primary and secondary school – meant parents were less fearful about strangers.
Ms Feeney says her children spend their walk talking to each other, and most of the feedback she gets from other parents is about how close her children seem.
"They walk along, heads next to each other, chatting away," she says.
Do you let your children walk or ride to school by themselves?
Yes 73%
No 27%
Total votes: 5002
Poll closes in 1 days.
Disclaimer: These polls are not scientific and reflect the opinion only of visitors who have chosen to participate.
www.theage.com.au/victoria/i-shouldnt-h ... zyrtc.html
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