The province of Noord-Brabant is a region in the south of Holland incorporating 67 municipalities. Like everywhere in The Netherlands, there is a long tradition for children cycling to school. However, there are still a significant proportion of children who are transported to school by car. With STARS, the province of Noord-Brabant wants to achieve a modal shift from the car to the more active ways of traveling to and from school by bicycle or on foot.
At the same time, travel must be safe. For that reason, STARS will connect to the existing traffic education programmes for primary schools and secondary schools. At the end of the STARS project 25 primary schools and 15 secondary schools in the province of Noord-Brabant will have participated. In these schools, the number of car journeys made to transport children to and from school will decrease by 5%, substituted by the more sustainable modes of cycling and walking.
STARS Activities in Noord Brabant
- Yearly theoretical exam about cycling and all traffic rules. Pupils have to pass this exam before the practical exam that schools can organise. In Holland pupils of grade 7/8 (about 10/11 years old, primary schools) are doing these exam during school time, organized by a national road safety organisation (VVN). Schools are organizing the practical exams by themselves. All the pupils need a safe cycle and schools or local road safety organisations (or the police) will control of the safety of these bikes before the pratical exam. In the region Heart of Brabant we made special road signs for the practical exams that are placed permanently so parents can always pratice the routes with their own kids.
- Pupils of the last grade in primary schools prepare cycling the route to their new school (secondary school). In groups they are looking at that new route (Google Street View) and discuss the difficulties on these routes. After this they actually ride the new route. Another approach or an action to combine with the first: pupils from first grade in secondary schools visit the last grade of primary schools to inform them about the (danger of the) new route to the secondary school (peer to peer).
- Poster painting competition between schools to design a poster that can be printed on bill boards to catch the attention of car drivers.
- At the beginning of each school year, all municipalities place special banners in the direct surroundings of schools and on the main roads to inform car drivers about the new school year. The goeal is to generate extra attention for the youngsters in traffic. The slogan we use: School year started!
Number of primary schools: 889
Number of secondary schools: 169
Involved primary schools: 10
Involved secondary schools: 11
Km roads & streets: 1,025 km
Km bicycle paths & lanes: 5,000 km
Car ownership 1,289,511
Children getting escorted by car: 33%