Teaching young children how to ride a bike safely and testing them on road rules can make them better drivers later in life, according to a visiting transport consultant.
International cycling guru Johan Diepens, who has been involved in the development of bike networks and bike safety plans in Europe for more than a decade, said all 11-year-olds in the Netherlands were taught bike safety at school, followed by written and practical examinations.
This gave them a basic understanding of road rules.
"This is considered an important part of the school curriculum," Mr Diepens said. "Before the practical test, schools are visited by police officers who inspect each of the bikes to make sure they are safe."
He said there was no reason the same program could not be implemented elsewhere, including WA.
Education Department statewide services executive director Juanita Healy said that WA students were taught bicycle education and road safety though the health and PE curriculum.
"In addition to the mandatory two hours per week of physical activity in WA schools, students are strongly encouraged to take up cycling in their own time and schools teach important road safety rules and messages, including compulsory helmet use, to ensure they cycle safely," Ms Healy said.
Mr Diepens is founder and chief executive of Mobycon, a transport and mobility consultancy.
He was in Perth to address a breakfast forum organised by the RAC yesterday, on his way to a conference in Melbourne.