Police machine will teach children road sense
Hertfordshire Mercury, 21st September 1951
How quickly does a child cyclist react to an emergency on the road ?
Hertfordshire Police Road Safety Officer , Sergt. R. H. Gaylor , plans to find out with a cycle reaction tester he and members of his department are building at Police Headquarters , Hatfield .
The equipment comprises a cycle mounted on a stand in front of a large screen on which a photograph of a road junction will be shown .
The young cyclist sits on the machine and pedals as though riding normally . Suddenly a picture of a jay-walking pedestrian or another emergency is flashed up on the screen .
The child’s time reaction between the appearance of the emergency and his or her application of the cycle brakes is recorded, through electrical apparatus, on a clock.
This figure , read in conjunction with a speedometer fitted to the cycle , will give the distance which the cyclist would have taken to stop .
An advantage of the scheme is that the equipment is portable and can be taken to schools.
Sergt. Gaylor also plans to give children practical training in recognising road signs and correct traffic light procedure. Coloured signs and working traffic lights are to be incorporated on the screen.
” Most children can ride a cycle , but few can ride safely. ” Sergt. Gaylor told the Mercury .
In the first six months of this year 11 pedal cyclists were killed in accidents on Hertfordshire roads. Another 55 child cyclists were injured .
” We find too many accidents are caused through cyclists failing to obey traffic signals , and through failure to give signals , and through failure to give signals of intention to stop , slow down , or change direction. ” said the sergeant.
He added : ” The scheme will teach children how to ride properly , and show that in Hertfordshire we are doing our best to ensure that our children are the most careful cyclists . “