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back to article Old timers rattle zimmers at 'Elderly Persons' sign

Campaigning old timers organisation Age Concern is demanding the scrapping of the "Elderly Persons" road sign, which suggests that advanced years come at the price of a hunched back and a hobble to the shops propped up on a walking stick. UK elderly persons road sign The offending image - introduced in 1981 - is described by …

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Avi
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But that's not the point...

How long until roadworks contractors complain that they're not perpetually standing with a spade dug into a pile of earth?

My bike certainly doesn't look like the one on the road signs, either.

The point isn't to accurately illustrate something, it's to quickly warn of it.

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Damit

And here was me thinking that all people with disabilitys were in wheel chairs.

Have these people got nothing better to do?

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Coat

Adopt the position

There I was thinking the old lady was goosing the old gent!

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If they don't like that graphic

Can they suggest an alternative? A simple graphic which will get the required point across and be easily understood (including by non-English speakers)?

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Joke

Maybe they should change the sign to

A silhouette of a man with a flexed posture, waving a cane in the air, with the lettering, "I don't believe it!" underneath?

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Joke

aww..

This is shocking.

I fully sympathise with the elderly on this one. May I suggest similarly-offended readers consider a letter-writing campaign, possibly co-ordinated via the People's Friend, or perhaps the Sunday Post ?

Tin of Werther's Originals and a Big Slipper to the most eloquent !

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Stop

Beware old lady pickpockets in the area

Sign shows a old lady picking the pocket of a blind man to me, bottom line do we also get signs warning of signs ahead or indeed gaggles of children.

Seen some great ones in my time though a quick google and get a fine example of a sign causing what its meant to avoid:

http://robertstevenson.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/silly-sign-22.jpg

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Anonymous Coward

Reduced speed limits?!?!

How are you going to get your 10 points going at 20mph???

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Tim
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You cant win.

These are the same people who would complain in a young lad in a hot hatch buzzed them when they crossed the road.....

The sign helps people realise there are old fogeys, or coffindodgers that may be slower at crossing the road. Maybe we should use these two phrases to appease them....

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Nothing better to do?

Oh wait...

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Joke

Pathetic

The Highway Code lists that sign as "Frail Pedestrians likely to cross", not "Beware, militant old gits"

Its not about speed, it about alerting drivers to possible hazards (you'd never believe the damage a Zimmer frame can do)

I'm waiting for militant foxes and badgers to complain that the "Wild Animals" warning sign discriminates against them because it depicts a deer.

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Dead Vulture

If you aren't walking like that

and you're walking upright without aids at full walking speed, what does it matter your age is? Drivers don't have to "watch for fast-walking pensioners" so all they need is a sign saying "watch out for slow-walking pensioners" who may exist.

Or do the fully able pensioners want the less able segregated off to a safe area where their disability will not be associated with them?

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Anonymous Coward

Who'd a thunk it ?

The amount of power and influence one can acquire through portraying oneself as a victimised minority in this modern PC obsessed world is mind boggling.

The wrinklies are the largest and most powerful demographic already. Do they really need to resort to propaganda in addition to their current social dominance?

The next time I'm crashed into in the supermarket by a trolley or electric scooter I'll have to bear in mind that the poor dear is a victim of social stereotyping.

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IT Angle

Construction workers also misrepresented

So, will the 'roadworks' sign - featuring a bloke with a shovel in a pile of Tarmac(R) now be altered to show a range of activities related to the construction industry in general? Because it's SUCH a stereotypical representation of what they do, it really is misleading*.

It's just supposed to be an icon, a symbol, an easily recognisable sign. Not a full graphical representation of the actual subject!

What do they want? Full-colour photos of genuine local pensioners? Will rural areas have the various 'animal-in-road' signs replaced by photos of the specific local breeds, posing in the road?

Bah.

*Not least because it suggests they spend time working.

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Alert

Just a storm...

in chamberpot.

Clearly Ms. McLennan has way too much free time on her hands, and should, as pointed out, be concentrating on something important to the 'elderly', rather than trying to grab a few cheap, middle-page column inches, as this is just not headline news.

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The real safety issue

is when the old codgers like that get behind the wheel. Maybe they should reissue the sign as a bumper sticker?

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n
IT Angle

...and the rest

...The "children crossing" sign could act as a beacon to garry glitter types who would congregate near the signs looking to "help" children across the road.

...And why are the people on warning roadsigns always black.....totally racist....i will be righting to a token black MP about this shocking oversight.

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Beware of...

I'm surprised the 'learning difficulties' lobby haven't yet objected to the sign local to me that reads "Slow children ahead".

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Coat

The point is...

...there's no need for a sign for the elderly who are fit and well.

OTOH how do depict the smell of peppermints and wee-wee...

Mine's the trebor mints and incontinence pants.

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Stereotypes

Is this sign stereotyping? Yes. Do people recognize what the stereotype is fro the image? Yes. Do people know full well that not all elderly people are anything like what this stereotypical image depicts? Yes. The problem then? Daily Mail readers who are sick of the ethnic minorities pulling this one all the time and now they want their turn: translate into: morons who have too much time on their hands and are not putting it to good use.

Warning: common sense strikes again.

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Lets not stop there

What about that one with the motorbike jumping over the car, surely the lack of a take-off or landing ramp gets right up any stunt riders nose.

And that car driving off the dock. A tragic event, i wonder how many lives were lost.

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School ahead

I would like to complain about the 'school ahead' sign depicting two running children, it is encouraging our nation's youth to run in the road, which is dangerous.

Also, the speed limit signs in miles per hour are discriminating against those of us modern and educated enough to be thinking in kilometres per hour; how can we be expected to stick to a speed limit which requires thirty seconds of mental calculation?

Likewise, I do not like the discriminatory nature of driving laws. Under 17s have a right to use our roads like the rest of us; and the disabled. I think it's just plain wrong that a man born blind, who has no choice in the matter, is not allowed to drive a 20 tonne truck around the M25.

Finally, the 'left turn ahead' sign is belittling those of us with erectile disfunction.

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Flame

Solution

Can I suggest we take all people over the age of seventy and burn them in a huge pyre? We can use the resulting energy to power the country for a while, our energy requirements will fall dramatically (old people use more heating - so Age Concern tell us) resulting in a huge drop in the price of fuel.

Our taxes can be more than halved as we stop paying for their pensions, nursing care, winter fuel allowances, NHS costs etc etc. We will free up babdly needed housing stock for first-time buyers currently priced out of the market. Supermarket queues will move twice as fast.

It's a win, win, win, win solution. There really is no need for us to listen to their shite any more.

They lived through a period of extra-ordinarily low housing and fuel costs and have come out of it with zero provisions for their own retirement - instead choosing to sponge off the current generation who are already hard pressed by massive housing costs, at least in part caused by them!

Improve Britain. Burn a Granny!

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Stop

The PC crowd strikes again

Sometimes I wonder if these people actually believe half the rubbish that comes out of their mouths.

Personally I think that pensioners have better things to worry about, like what todays Bingo numbers are.

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Anonymous Coward

<no title>

"They are assuming everyone who is old looks like that, and they don't."

Surely not. They are assuming everyone who looks like that is likely to be elderly; and so it is an identifier for elderly people that is instinctively recognised by the public.

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Campaign for Equal Heights

on the Discworld springs to mind

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If they are all so bloody healthy

Then why arn't they working like he rest of us?

Either get a walking stick and a hunch, or get back to work you lazy bastards!!1

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And while we're at it...

The signs that say "Use both lanes" don't actually mean that. Unless you're in a Hummer, of course.

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Age Concern should calm down..

.. and take its tablets. The sign means that infirm people may be about. I SAID INFIRM PEOPLE MAY BE ABOUT. It doesn't mean that all old people are infirm. Those in good health don't need any special consideration.

If you want to see a daft sign, have a look at the tram sign and work out where the tops of the wheels are.

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Aren;t these signs part of an international standard anyway?

So it's not as if we can unilaterally change them.

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Coat

Signs for a modern era.

I think my town needs one that accurately conveys the message "Teenage girl with impossibly-tight-ponytail and pushchair laden with Greggs-scoffing offspring likely to lurch outwards in front of car in a desperate attempt to get a) into primark b) some compo c) across the street to smack that slapper Kerry coz she was looking at me well funny.

Mines the one with peaked cap and jackboots next to it.

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Stop

Old news

This is incredibly old news. Over 5 years ago the elderly started moaning about this. There's even an old folks home which has a selection of stupid signs including an OAP with a walking stick on a skateboard.

Sadly any hope for me finding the original story has been lost to the recent re-issuing of this tired old thing.

I hope it enjoyed it's day out. Time for it to go back to the home, I think.

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Whoah there nelly

So was it the oldies complaining, or some PC-Gorn-Mad random person in Help the Aged?

Though the whole idea of designing a new sign did remoind me of this video here:

http://www.wallstreetfighter.com/2008/07/what-if-modern-advertisers-created-stop-sign_24.html

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Anonymous Coward

grrrrrrrrrr

It was the organisation "Age Concern" that complained about this sign... how many elderly folks complained? How many of them are actually offended? I'm guessing very, very few.

It's like the numpties that don't want Christmas decorations in shopping malls in case it offends the any of the non-Christian communities. I've never yet met a Muslim/Hindu/Seikh who was even remotely offended by Chrimbo deccies... and I live in Wolverhampton.

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IT Angle

They fought for us, died for us

All these elderly bashers, have they forgotten that were it not for the elderly who fought (and died) for us to keep Britain afloat we would be a different and a lot worse nation now?

I for one am happy to pay my taxes in honour and recognition of what our elder members of society sacrificed in order to make a future for us.

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And while you are at it ...

... the sign for a slippery road (http://www.driving-test-success.com/uk-road-signs-warnings/slippery-road.gif) is physically impossible.

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Your not supposed to run anyone over!

Stop discriminating against certain 'groups' Remove all the signs!

As for the roadworks sign, isn't it supposed to be a man erecting a parasol. Perfect for our British labourers....

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Paris Hilton

@JakeyC

"Will rural areas have the various 'animal-in-road' signs replaced by photos of the specific local breeds, posing in the road?"

Hah! Giggled a little at the thought of some gerbil or similar critter on its hind legs in the road with it's little paws up and it's mouth wide open in shock. Looking like when someone lampoons the "being run over by a bus" stance.

Now THERE'S a road traffic icon I could admire!

PS Erectile dysfunction? Mine only gets down to a right angle when I'm "ready" if I weigh the little bastard down with a towel!

PH is wondering...

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Pirate

Missleading signs - Scrap them all

So where in a town are there NOT likely to be people that may cross a road slower than others?

More crossings and more care from drivers please. I hear a 20mph train thundering down the road safety track!

That'll be great wont it. Then we can do 20mph 24hrs a day like we already do in some areas, for schools that are...

(a) Empty through holidays (25% of year).

(b) Empty coz it's night time

(c) Not spewing kids onto the road coz they are hard at work inside!

Be honest drivers. How many times have you seen a pedestrian waiting to cross a road, in the rain, while you trickle along in slow traffic that would cost you nothing to halt for a short while. You never know, it may even lighten your mood as someone thanks you.

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Cash 'n' Carrion?

What an excellent logo!

When will the merchandising be available? ... There are simply too many people I need to send these shirts to!

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Joke

Re: But that's not the point...

"How long until roadworks contractors complain that they're not perpetually standing with a spade dug into a pile of earth?"

Is that what he's doing? I though he was opening an umbrella.

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Bunch of animals

This reminds me of the fuss created by the brown Tourist Destination signs when they were introduced. Places like Marwell got uptight because they didn't have any elephants.

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2002/20023113.htm#sch14

There are some pretty niche attractions that get their own sign. How many tram museums are there, for example?

(Question rhetorical. Please don't go find out.)

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James Bassett...

for PM!

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Bias? Prejudice? Stereotype? Huh?

It's seems Lizzy McLennan is not the only one jumping the gun. Who says this said depicts anyone Age Concern should be looking out for?

The quote from the BMJ seems confused, also. How is the sign implying anything about expectations of those with advancing age?

A very quick check on Direct.gov explains the meaning as "Frail (or blind or disabled if shown) pedestrians likely to cross road ahead". No mention of old.

It may not be a great sign, but what should be used instead to alert drivers quickly that vulnerable people are likely to be crossing? Physically 'frail' and possibly blind or disabled is exactly what that sign says to me.

Get that chip off your shoulder, Lizzy.

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An inescapable fact for all you young smart arses

Old and wrinkly is what the future holds for you.

Hold that thought and enjoy.

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Paris Hilton

Re: "Slow children ahead".

I always wonder about the sign "slow Police" - personally I wouldn't comment

PH - would rather they change it to full size photo sans clothes :p

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Alternative

We need a sign with the silhouette of a person on one of those mobility scooters, preferably while waving a cane in the air.

Here in the States, stretches of road that are likely to have farmers driving tractors are identified by a man driving a tractor... wearing a straw hat... which I doubt many farmers wear these days. Normally that wouldn't annoy me, except that it seems like the obvious alternative would be to just have a sign with the silhouette of a tractor - I think that would get the point across... :\

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@ Joseph Haig

What if the road was so slippery the car actually did a 180 and is now carrying on skidding forwards facing in the wrong direction?

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Damn, 'Age Concern' unfortunately isn't an anagram of....

.....'Moaning Bunch of Tossers'.

Next the electricity companies will complain that their Eco electricity isn't shown as a green lightning flash on signs warning of the risk of electrocution.

Let's just take down the offending signs and let Darwinian behaviour take its toll.

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Re: Marc MacAllister

It's not the ones that died for us that bother me. It's the ones who survived and won't stop moaning about what a shit-hole the country has become that piss me off. Apparantly, it's all down to the teenagers, who've only been in the country less than twenty years and have no power to change anything.

Certainly it can't possibly be their fault, what with them having lived here for eighty years and having voted for government after government....

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