A bizarre example of victim blaming by agencies that ought to know better
- The following story is on the front page of the weekly Birmingham
MetroNews - Thursday November 30 2000 Issue 491.
It is so striking in its focus as to need no comment but I still think it
would be good if people could write in about it to either the editor or the
other people or agencies quoted (addresses below. I apologise for the lack
of emails but the Metronews doesn't have email and I can't find one for the
Chief Constable though comments may be posted on the WM Police website whose
URL I've added.):
" WEAR DAY-GLO OR DIE"
Police plea to OAPs as car deaths grow
Story by Philip Jackson: The city's OAPs are being urged to wear fluorescent
clothing to cut the number of pensioners hit by cars.
Police say there have been more serious and fatal traffic collisions in the
Kings Heath and Billesley area, and most involve elderly pedestrians.
Now local bobby Caroline Evans is advising senior citizens in Brum to be
smart and be seen - even if that means wearing bright or fluorescent
She said that five of the seven road deaths in the area since June, and most
of the serious injuries, had been older people. She put the problem down to
elderly pedestrians crossing in the wrong place, and not being seen until it
was too late.
"There has recently been an increase in road traffic collisions where
unfortunately elderly people have died trying to cross the road" she said.
"To stop this from happening we advise the public - especially the elderly -
to wear a bright item of clothing or something fluorescent."
"We don't expect to see OAPs in those bright jackets that builders wear -
even if it's just the bands cyclists wear on their arms, it's better than
Jane Eason, from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents agreed.
"It is always better to try and wear something bright so drivers can make
you out, like a brightly coloured or white coat."
And the worsening winter weather means, if pedestrians don't look out, the
death toll in Brum will rise.
"People should also bear in mind that the bad weather conditions will affect
the visibility of both the driver and the pedestrian," said PC Evans. "The
driver's ability to stop will also be drastically reduced if the road
surface is wet or icy."
Anyone wishing to comment on this story might care to address them to one or
more of the addresses below:
28 Colmore Circus
Birmingham B4 6AX
0121 234 5075
Edward Crew QPM
West Midlands Police HQ
PO Box 52
Birmingham B4 6NQ 626 5000
(could not find an email but comments can be made on the web site)
RoSPA Head Office
353 Bristol Road
Birmingham B5 7ST, UK
0121 248 2000 Fax 0121 248 2001