Government is already preparing the future and will start by implementing a compulsory elementary school discipline so that children learn to pedal. A measure that is expected to come in the next few years, in order to create new behaviors in the young, as well as an awareness of the environmental impact.
"All the students will have the opportunity to learn how to pedal in a phased training process across the various levels of education," said the Assistant Secretary and Mobility, José Mendes, in the presentation of the National Strategy for Active Mobility, which took place this Thursday in Barreiro, adding that in the "1st cycle the classes will be in a protected context, in the 2nd, 3rd and second cycles there will be a passage into the public space." That is, there will be a "theoretical and practical" training.
José Mendes pointed out that currently "there is a lack of road citizenship or concepts of defensive driving", referring to both cyclists and future drivers of automobiles. In this way, a way to implement a new school insurance is being studied in order to protect students who travel to school on bicycles.
Transport and mobility are responsible for a quarter of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, so it is important to explain to young people as soon as possible, further reinforcing the idea that something must be done also in the older age brackets.
"Education for active and sustainable mobility and for road citizenship will be provided from pre-school and continued at the following levels, encouraging the shared and responsible use of public space," José Mendes said.
Increase the length of bicycle lanes and reduce the number of accidents with bicycles
During the presentation of the National Strategy for Active Mobility, the Deputy Secretary said that "after the metro networks, renewal of bus fleets, it is the hour of cycling mobility".
In 2011, according to the Census, only 0.5% of the Portuguese population traveled by bicycle, a scenario quite different from what happens in other European cities. This Government wants to start implementing measures so that, by 2030, the number increases to 7.5%. To do this, it intends that the current 2 thousand kilometers of existing bicycle paths in Portugal become 10 thousand, reinforcing the idea that it is necessary to reduce the number of accidents occurred in cycling. Last year, 165 people died and 600 were seriously injured.
Under the Portugal 2020 programs, € 970 million will be invested by the State to increase "green" mobility and urban rehabilitation.