Children struggle to judge cars faster than 20mph, report says

20mph speed limits

photo Research explains why young children have difficulty judging the speed of fast-moving vehicles

New research has found that primary age children can't accurately see, or judge the speed of, vehicles travelling above 20mph.

Scientists at Royal Holloway, University of London, measured the perceptual acuity of over 100 children in primary schools and calculated the approach speed that they could reliably detect.

The study, to be published in international journal Psychological Science, outlines the dangers to young children of fast-moving motor traffic

Professor John Wann, who led the research, said: "This not a matter of children not paying attention, but a problem related to low-level visual detection mechanisms.

"Even when children are paying very close attention they may fail to detect a fast-approaching vehicle.”

Anna Semlyen, campaign manager for 20’s Plenty for Us said: "We can't address child road safety by simply teaching them to pay more attention.

"It’s up to adult society to protect families through 20mph limits where people live, and for drivers to obey these limits."