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Dated: 28 March 2011

Take a Minute and Save a Life


Blackcircles.com is urging drivers not to drive over 20mph in residential or school areas after a new study found that children have trouble judging the speed of cars.

One of the main outcomes from the study - which was carried out by the Royal Holloway College, London University - showed that children between the ages of 6-11 did not always choose the best course of action when calculating how much time they had to cross a road.

Once an oncoming vehicle reaches speeds over 20mph, children found it increasingly hard to successfully calculate the time they had to cross the road unharmed.

One passage from the report reads, “Children’s perceptual limitations place them at greater risk of stepping in front of cars travelling at higher speeds.

“Driving over 20mph in a residential or school area not only increases the potential severity of any impact, but also increases the risk that a child will injudiciously cross in front.”

Professor John Wann, one of the authors of the report, backed up the finding in the report by saying, “there’s strong evidence that children may make risky crossing judgments when vehicles are travelling at 30 or 40mph.

“The vehicles that they are more likely to step in front of are the faster vehicles that are more likely to result in a fatality - travelling one mile though a residential area at 20mph vs. 30mph will only add 60 seconds to journey time. We encourage drivers to take a minute and save a child’s life”.

A number of city councils have introduced a 20mph speed limit in and around residential areas.

“Michael Welch, Managing Director of Blackcircles.com, added his own thoughts on the subject, “Road safety and the safety of pedestrians – especially children – are very important issues and research like this must be taken onboard when planning any new initiatives.

“Based on the findings in this study, I think that adding 60 seconds onto your journey – by sticking to 20mph in residential areas - is nothing when you consider what the cost could be if you are travelling too fast.

“Having said that, I don’t think the onus of keeping children safe near roads can be put entirely on motorists. Educating them on the dangers of the road is still one of the most important things that we can do to and prevent accidents.”

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