The Department for Transport has confirmed it is not considering changing the design of the road sign warning drivers to look out for elderly people.
The design of the familiar sign showing two figures hunched over a walking stick was based on the winning entry in a children’s competition in 1981.
It has now come under fire from Age Concern and Help the Aged for presenting older people in a negative, stereotypical light, according to reports.
Age Concern says many people are offended by the road sign, and argues that the image does not represent the attitudes or physical capabilities of older people.
The charity maintains that a reduced speed limit in areas near residential care homes would be more useful than signage.
A statement from the Department of Transport says, ‘This sign is to warn drivers that people with walking difficulties of any age could be crossing the road and may need extra time. The DfT has no plans to change the sign.’
Regulations introduced in 2003 did away with the caption ‘elderly people’ underneath the sign as it was considered to be ageist.