By Kate Matthews, The Daily Examiner
CYCLING round paddocks is a different world to cycling on the open road.
And according to Cowper Public School principal Sue Chappele, rural children as a result are sometimes not used to wearing helmets or staying safe around traffic.
The school has received a $500 boost from the NRMA Safer Driving School Road Safety Grant program to develop a bike safety program for its pupils.
Ms Chappele said while only a few students cycled to school at present, there had been a couple of near misses.
"Most of our 28 pupils catch buses at present but we hope with our bike safety course a few more will be encouraged to ride to school," she said.
The school will buy some bikes and set up a course in the car park, as well as inviting experts in to talk to the children.
NRMA President Wendy Machin said many rural children were aware of the correct road rules and shared roads with cars travelling 100kmh.
"Creating an environment for the school's students to practise safe and responsible behaviour around roads will go a long way to instilling safer habits," she said.
The new road safety area will allow students to practise bike etiquette and road skills required in the wider community, learning from qualified bike instructors and road safety presenters.
Students will also learn the consequences of unsafe behaviours such as not wearing helmets, crossing the road without looking, not following the road rules and not signalling their intentions to traffic.
"It's all about crash prevention and getting home safely; Cowper Public School is to be congratulated for its proactive approach to road safety," Ms Machin said.
Dated - 20.11.2012