SWOV Catalogus


Promotie vrijwillig gebruik van fietshelmen in de Bollenstreek : de resultaten van een project bij twee basisscholen.
962041 ST [electronic version only]
Steenbakkers, M. Goldenbeld, C. Dijkman, A. & Venema, A.
Amsterdam, Stichting Consument en Veiligheid SCV / Leidschendam, Stichting Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek Verkeersveiligheid SWOV, 1996, 59 p., 10 ref.; Interimrapport SCV ; No. IR 154

Samenvatting Together with local and national organisations the Consumer Safety Institute developed in 1995 a project to encourage the use of bicycle helmets on a voluntary basis among children. In two municipalities, Noordwijkerhout and Leiderdorp, the project is carried out with children of two governmental schools. Accident rates show that children aged 0 - 12 years are very vulnerable in the traffic and that helmet use can reduce the number of seriousness of bicycle accidents. On a yearly basis a reduction of 80% of the victims can be reached if every cyclist wears a helmet. The use of helmets is in The Netherlands not required by law and will probably not be required in the near future. The use of use of bicycle helmets on a voluntary basis is not very common. The project had the following three aims: a) To discover if promotion of the use of bicycle helmets on a voluntary basis among children can be encouraged; b) which form of communication about bicycle helmets children like best and c) the effectiveness of the chosen local project strategic involving schools, retailers and media. Based on knowledge of foreign bicycle helmet projects the following project approach was developed: 1) lnvolvement of schools, helmet-importers and retailers; 2) Education of parents; 3) Activities for children with bicycle helmets (An opening manifestation; Let children experience the use of a bicycle helmet; Gather reactions from the environment; Judge communication concepts; A finishing manifestation); 4) Attention for the project through local/national media; and 5) Evaluation. One unique aspect of the project was schoolchildren (9 - 12 years) themselves doing marketing research on the use and experiences with bicycle helmets. Evaluation results show a positive judgement of the project. Both parents and children have become interested and enthusiastic about bicycle helmets. Through the project-activities children's knowledge was increased, and the attitude towards wearing bicycle helmets themselves became more positive. However, about the actual wearing of helmets some remarks have to be made. Negative reactions from the social environment, looking and laughing, are reasons for children not to wear a bicycle helmet on a regular basis. Children don't want to be laughed at and parents don't want their children to be laughed at. Due to this negativism of the social environment over 60% of the children do not intend to wear bicycle helmets in the near future. Nevertheless, because of the activities of the project the number of children, wearing a bicycle helmet, redoubled on the two governmental schools. 9,2% of the parents - possibly stimulated by the discount-action - did actually buy a bicycle helmet for their child during the project. The average age of the children was between 5 - 7 years old. We consider the results of the project positive. These results correspond with a slowly rising trend in the Netherlands in using a bicycle helmet. Ten years ago almost nobody used a bicycle helmet in The Netherlands, while nowadays children and adults use a bicycle helmet more frequently. Based on the results of this project some recommendations can be made to promote future voluntary use of bicycle helmets by children in The Netherlands: a) It is useful to promote bicycle helmets for children on a more national level. The accident problem is severe enough, the effectiveness of the bicycle helmet to reduce head injuries is proven and the attitude of parents and children is positive enough. Condition for a national promotion is a partnership/cooperation of several national (traffic) safety organisation; b) For a national promotion it is recommended to develop a massmedial approach paying attention to both image and social acceptation of the bicycle helmet. The national approach needs to be translated into local activities in which schools, retailers and local media working together; c) The focus should be on parents of 5 - 7 years old children; d) Activities with bicycle helmets should be implemented in traffic-education activities at schools. (A)
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