The road sign that depicts an old couple should be banned. That’s according to a government tsar for the elderly, who says it discriminates against those aged over 50.
Dr Ros Altmann believes the road sign, which shows a hunched-over couple and a walking stick, is putting employers off from hiring workers over 50, reinforces ‘colour stereotypes’ and that it sends a message that older people are ‘frail and disabled’.
The issue will be raised with equalities minister Jo Swinson at a meeting in December, where it is likely other proposals that aim to get older Brits back into work will be discussed.
Dr Altmann said to the Daily Mail: “We have got an ageing population in this country. The vast majority are fit and healthy and in no way like that picture of people being stooped over and needing a walking stick.
“The signs give the message that old people are frail and disabled – it contributes to some of the age discrimination that we know exists in society. They belong to a bygone era and I think there is merit in focusing people’s attention on something that everybody recognises.”
The road sign is designed to warn drivers they might encounter slow-moving and elderly pedestrians. It was introduced in 1981.
Has a road sign really warped society’s perception of the elderly? Can a road sign really be discriminatory? Let us know.
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