WITH the rising interest in using the public bicycle as daily transport, Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) is introducing the cycling proficiency certification system similar to the driver’s license test in June 2021 to promote the culture of safe cycling.
The certificate can be obtained after completing the bicycle safety education and passing written and practical tests. Bicycle riders who hold the certificate will be able to get discounted rates for the Seoul Public Bicycle (Ttareungi) for two years. The tests are designed to evaluate the bicycle riders’ knowledge of essential traffic and cycling rules such as exhibiting hand signals before turning right or left, and whether the cyclist has a stable riding skill.
There will be a clear division of responsibilities related to safety education between the SMG and autonomous districts, and an efficient and systematic operating system will be built as well. The SMG will take the leading role in operating the safety education system and will be responsible for the development and education of cycling instructors. The autonomous districts will be in charge of providing safety education for citizens who wish to obtain the certificate as well as general citizens.
For this purpose, the SMG has developed standard textbooks customised for different age groups from pre-school children to adults. In addition, a general website for bicycle safety education was opened at the end of April where citizens can check the availability of and apply for safety education sessions and certification tests.
The SMG announced that the bicycle safety education system will be renewed entirely, and the five major changes made to the system are as follows: (a) introduction of a bicycle and road safety education certification system; (b) customised education using standard textbooks for different age groups; (c) fostering cycling instructors; (d) bicycle maintenance education; and (e) opening a general website for bicycle safety education.
① Starting June this year, the bicycle and road safety education certification system that evaluates cycling proficiency will be introduced. The SMG will issue a certificate to those who complete the bicycle safety education and pass a written test on essential traffic rules that all bicycle riders must know (one hour) and a practical test on curved and straight riding courses (one hour). The certificate will be valid for two years.
○ The bicycle safety education conducted by the autonomous district will be composed of one hour of theoretical education and two hours of practical education (minimum). The schedule for the education programme will vary between the districts.
○ The discounted rate for Ttareungi will apply from July after revision to the ordinance (those who obtain the certificate in June will be eligible for the discounted rate from July). The certificate holder will be eligible for the discounted rate for two years from the first day of using the discounted rate. If a person wishes to continue to benefit from the discounted rate after this period, he/she must take the test again (the bicycle safety education requirement is waived for certificate holders).
Overview of the bicycle and road safety education certification system
* Third graders and older children who can comprehend Hangeul can take the written and practical tests
**The discounted rate for Ttareungi is only available for those who are eligible to use the service (13 years old or older)
***A personal information collection agreement will be issued to the applicant who wishes to benefit from the discounted rate for Ttareungi.
– There will be a total of four test centres in each district. As of now, the confirmed locations of the test centres are the Traffic Safety Experience Centre in Dongdaemun-gu, Bicycle Education Centre in Gwanak-gu, and Safety Training Centre in Songpa-gu. An additional centre will be opened in the Gangbuk region.
② Standard textbooks customised for different age groups were developed. The standard textbooks were developed for pre-school children, elementary school students, middle and high school students, and adults for maximum educational effect. The curriculum includes essential traffic rules and hand signals that all bicycle riders must know and practice, and how to use personal mobile devices which are rapidly increasing in number. Due to the COVID-19 situation and the current trend of non-face-to-face education, online educational videos will be made based on the textbooks and will be distributed to the autonomous districts. The SMG will offer customised safety education that is more effective and practical by uploading the relevant content on the SMG’s YouTube channel, blog, etc. to make it easier for citizens to access them.
③ 80 more cycling instructors are planned to be trained this year. Based on the newly developed bicycle safety education textbook by the SMG, the training course will encompass theoretical studies such as the structure of bicycle, related law and regulation, and teaching method as well as practical knowledge including road safety in practice, riding skills, maintenance practice, and first aid.
○ The trainees will be able to obtain the cycling instructor certificate when they pass the instructor qualification certification test (theoretical and practical tests) after completing the SMG’s cycling instructor training course. Applicants can apply for a total of 4 classes to be held this year. The first class started on Mon, Apr. 26 for five days (a total of 25 hours). For prevention of the spread of COVID-19 and efficient operation of the course, each class will be limited to 20 trainees. Any Seoul citizen who has the qualities and personalities of a cycling instructor can apply for the course. Applicants affiliated with schools, educational institutions and organisations will be given priority consideration.
④ The bicycle maintenance education course will be held biannually. Reflecting the growing demand for bicycle maintenance education along with a growing number of bicycle riders, the course will be oriented toward practical skills such as how to check and repair bicycles parts and how to respond to emergencies such as punctured tires and broken chains while riding.
○ Each course will consist of eight hours. Anyone including those who have completed the cycling instructor training course and Seoul citizens can apply for the course. To prevent the spread of COVID-19 and operate the course efficiently, each class will be limited to 25 trainees (first-come-first-served basis).
⑤ The SMG will newly open a general website for bicycle safety education at the end of this month, which contains comprehensive information on bicycle education for citizens who could not easily find bicycle-related educational information.
Citizens had to visit individual government agency websites to find information on bicycle education. From the end of April, citizens can find information on (curricular, availability, and locations) and apply for various bicycles education programmes such as bicycle safety education programmes run by the autonomous districts, bicycle and road safety education certification system, cycling instructor training course, and bicycle maintenance in one place.
Notice on the 1st cycling instructor training course