A government advisor has claimed that the “frail pedestrians” road sign is preventing older people from finding work, and should consequently be axed.
The road sign in question depicts an elderly couple hunched over, and supporting each other, with the man leaning heavily on a walking stick.
Dr Ros Altmann, the government’s expert on older workers, has claimed that this sign shows an outdated and dismissive view of older people, labeling those over 50 as unfit for work and making employers think of them as “frail and disabled”, reports the Mirror.
Advocate for pensioners Altmann has stated that the majority of older people are fit and healthy, not stooped over and in need of a walking stick. She has pushed for these signs to be banned and is due to raise the issue at a meeting with women and equalities minister Jo Swinson, next month.
It’s simply not reflective of society in this day and age. It's symptomatic of some of the thinking that writes older people off unnecessarily and unfairly.
Altmann told the Mirror: “It’s simply not reflective of society in this day and age.
"It's symptomatic of some of the thinking that writes older people off unnecessarily and unfairly.”
The current design of the road sign dates back to 1965, a time when the average life expectancy stood much lower than it does now.
Addressing whether the sign discriminated against older people, an AA spokesperson told the Mirror: "There are areas where there may be vulnerable pedestrians and this is a sign that conveys that quickly and easily to motorists.
"But I don't think we would have a problem with a debate or consultation, and renewing the signs may refresh the warning."