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Students licensed to ride
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New students at middle schools in Nanjing, the capital city of Jiangsu Province, will have to pass tests and be licensed if they want to ride bikes to school, a local newspaper reported.

Student cyclists who are caught breaking traffic laws more than three times in a semester will not be considered for the annual "Three Good Students" awards, the Modern Express reported.

The program organized by the Nanjing education authority and traffic police is intended to increase road safety awareness among students. Like driving license tests, students will have pass a written examination and then a practical test on the road focusing on their behavior at intersections.

A trial of the program was carried out last last year and there was a sharp decrease in the number of road accidents and traffic violations involving student cyclists, Zhang Xiaodong, the vice director of No. 10 Nanjing Traffic Police Subteam, said. "Parents should first apply to the school to enlist their children. Traffic police are in charge of the actual tests," he told the newspaper. "Student cyclists will have to carry their licenses with them anytime they ride on the city roads."

Students are also finding the tests helpful. "`I have been riding a bike for four years but it was not until I did the test that I realized it was a violation to carry anyone else on my bike," a senior student, Zhang, who was practising riding his bike between six closely placed barrels, one of the tasks in the examination.

(Shanghai Daily September 1, 2008)

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