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A bizarre example of victim blaming by agencies that ought to know better

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  • Simon Baddeley
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 3, 2000
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      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.):

      Headline:
      " 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
      clothes.
      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
      nothing."
      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:


      The Editor
      MetroNews
      28 Colmore Circus
      Birmingham B4 6AX
      0121 234 5075


      Edward Crew QPM
      Chief Constable
      West Midlands Police HQ
      PO Box 52
      Lloyd House
      Colmore Circus
      Queensway
      Birmingham B4 6NQ 626 5000
      http://www.west-midlands.police.uk/
      (could not find an email but comments can be made on the web site)

      RoSPA Head Office
      Edgbaston Park
      353 Bristol Road
      Edgbaston
      Birmingham B5 7ST, UK
      0121 248 2000 Fax 0121 248 2001
      Email: help@...
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