Two in three children fail traffic knowledge test

Summary

More than 30,000 primary school pupils in Flanders were tested on their knowledge of traffic, with worrying results

Theory into practice

Only one in three pupils in the fifth year of Flemish primary education has passed the Big Traffic Test (De Grote Verkeerstoets). Almost 34,000 children took the test on traffic awareness, initiated by the Flemish Foundation for Traffic Awareness. Most answered fewer than 17 of the 25 questions correctly.

The test shows that most pupils understand the meaning of traffic signs but can’t apply that knowledge when confronted with actual traffic situations. Less than one-quarter knew that cyclists don’t automatically have priority at a crossing place for cyclists, for example.

“The results prove that schools and parents should practise in the streets with children,” said foundation spokesperson Werner De Dobbeleer. “Parents need to take children to complicated crossroads and explain what they should pay attention to as a pedestrian and a cyclist.”

Education minister Hilde Crevits said she would take the results into account during the debate on the eindtermen – the final requirements for pupils to graduate – in primary and secondary education. “But teachers already devote a lot of time to traffic safety outside school,” she said, “such as when the class goes to the swimming pool on foot or by bike.”

Photo courtesy klas5sintmichiel