Elterntaxi: German Cyclists’ Association calls for end to car school runs
The German Cyclists’ Association (ADFC) is calling on parents to reduce car usage during the school run, arguing that it will make the route to school safer for all children.
ADFC says parents should drive children to school less often
The Berlin branch of the ADFC has made a new appeal; the association is trying to encourage more parents to walk or cycle their children to school instead of taking them by car. According to the Berlin Senate for Mobility and Transport, every fifth child in the German city is driven to school by their parents each morning, a.k.a is the beneficiary of the so-called Elterntaxi.
“We aren’t saying that all parents who drive their children to school are evil,” ADFC spokesperson in Berlin Karl Grünberg urged in a statement. “[But] it cannot be the case that Elterntaxis make the route to school more dangerous for other children,” Grünberg told the dpa.
The ADFC spokesperson said that children benefit from walking or cycling to school in more ways than one; the routine means that pupils have already moved once they get to school and if they are doing the journey on their own, it helps them gain independence.
Parents cannot be blamed for unsafe traffic infrastructure, says ADFC
That being said, Grünberg added that the Berlin branch of the Bonn-based organisation understands parents’ hesitancy when it comes to encouraging children to make the trip to school by foot or by bike if they are alone or with friends.
According to local newspaper Berliner Kurier, there were 7.450 bike accidents in the capital in 2022, 10 of which were fatal for the cyclist. Grünberger stressed that parents’ worry about their children’s safety when riding or walking to school must be taken seriously, noting that “there are too few safe, secure bike paths and crossings because zebra crossings are missing or the rules around zebra crossings are not respected.”
“Because investments are always made in automotive traffic, the safety of children, pedestrians and cyclists is not prioritised,” added Grünberger. Since Berlin’s new mayor Kai Wegner made it into office, the safety of cyclists seems to have slipped even further down the agenda, with CDU Transportation Senator Manja Schreiner putting all plans for new cycle paths on hold.
Thumb image credit: L Julia / Shutterstock.com