No matter how carefully we ride, there is always the possibility of having a bike or motorcycle accident, especially when you have to negotiate the chaos of the Shanghai roads. There may be cycle lanes but we know that we have to be constantly very alert to the unpredictability of other road users. Accidents can and will happen, and so it is essential that we take all the precautions we can to both prevent accidents and also minimise the impact when accidents occur. Wearing a helmet will not prevent accidents but it can considerably reduce the risk of head trauma and severe brain injury that often occurs with bike crashes. Helmets are considered to be the single most effective safety device available to reduce head injury and death from bike or motor-scooter crashes, and that’s why it's so important to wear a helmet.
It is BISS Puxi policy that all students coming to school on a bike or motor-scooter must wear a helmet and staff will stop and speak directly with those who don’t, insisting that they follow school rules or chose an alternative mode of transport. This rule applies to all situations; children travelling by bike themselves or sitting in a child seat on a parent or ayi’s bike; riding their own motor-scooter (age 16+ only) or travelling on the back of a parents or ayi’s scooter; we even ask that children coming on skateboards or push-scooters also wear a helmet. No helmet – no wheels!
Of course we advocate this for all our BISS Puxi students but also appeal for parental co-operation to be good role models. In other areas of our lives, parents and teachers are continually role modelling positive behaviours to children and young adults, including polite manners, use of appropriate language and social skills. Likewise, if we are to strengthen the message we give to children about road safety by demanding that they wear helmets, then it follows that the adults too must practise what they preach and also wear a helmet. As parents we go to extreme lengths to ensure that our children are safe in so many situations and so it is clear that we must also apply this approach to cycling; be safe by wearing helmets and also ensuring bikes and scooters have working lights – for students and adults.
In the past and just this week, some BISS Puxi students have had terrible crashes and been quite badly injured. These are the situations and moments that we all dread happening to our own families, or within our school community, and desperately want to avoid. So please, please, follow our rules about safety and be proactive in wearing a helmet to school and at any time when you are on wheels: students, teachers and parents!
Use Your Head – Wear A Helmet!
- Niki Meehan, Head of Primary