Road Safety News

Glasgow launches older peds campaign

Thursday 14th May 2015

Thousands of older people in Glasgow are enjoying a nostalgic trip down memory lane this month as part of a campaign to improve the safety of the city’s elderly pedestrians.

The ‘elderly pedestrian campaign’ has been organised by Glasgow City Council’s road safety team in a bid to raise awareness of the changes in traffic over the years.

The campaign launched on 11 May at Glasgow’s Riverside Museum when a group of primary school pupils and and their grandparents took part in a competition which will run throughout the campaign.

The competition consists of cardboard cut out characters placed around the museum with a road safety message attached; the older people and their grandchildren have to locate these and find the message.

The main element of the campaign involves 20,000 primary 5, 6 and 7 pupils taking home one of Glasgow’s new ‘Time Traveller’ packs to discuss with older relatives how road safety has changed over the years. There is also an online competition to collect data on older people’s behaviour and issues they face.

In addition, road safety staff and Junior Road Safety Officers from Glasgow schools are travelling around the city on a vintage bus to hand out advice and road safety information to older people. 

A short hazard perception film has also been produced which challenges drivers to test their skills against a police advanced driver on a short drive.

There is also a film of Glasgow in the 1950s, which gives an overview of the people, trade, culture and transport in use at the time.

The road safety team has joined forces with Insight Radio, the radio station of RNIB, to get road safety messages to blind and partially sighted road users. 

Councillor Alistair Watson, Glasgow City Council, said: “The number of older people killed or seriously injured on Glasgow’s roads has been falling steadily over the past decade. 

“However, there is still a disproportionate number of older pedestrians killed compared to other age groups.  This year alone, four of the five recorded fatalities have been older pedestrians.

“Events such as this highlight the importance of raising awareness and understanding of road safety issues for our more senior citizens in a light hearted and entertaining way.

“It also gives us an opportunity to talk about the different types of safer crossing facilities that have been installed on our streets across the city to assist pedestrians crossing busy roads.”


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My 91 year-old mother was recently hit by a car as she crossed a road only yards from a push-button crossing. Luckily, she broke only her right arm and has recovered well from the salutary experience. She has learnt a lesson in a very powerful manner, and unless it suddenly becomes practical for every old person to undergo the same lesson, I suggest that Glasgow continues to do its level best to reduce the numbers of such incidents. We need to do what we can to reduce KSIs without moaning about picking on victims.
David, Suffolk

Agree (4) | Disagree (0)

As the aim of this intervention appears to be to change the behaviour of elderly pedestrians, I would be interested to hear from the designers what behavioural change theories it is based upon?
Neil Snow, Nottingham City Council

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Yes I am in agreement with your comments and Nick Lancashire again I do not disagree with your statements either.
bob Craven Lancs...Space is Safe Campaigner

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I was trying to encourage a way forward towards a shared goal of reducing the number of collisions in which differing views are treated with respect and consideration by all.
That is very different to having yes people or suggesting that you have to agree with everything. Apologies if my post was not sufficiently clear.
Nick, Lancashire

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I'm sure you are aware that I'm all for free, open and passionate debate, as long as it is conducted in a courteous and balanced manner!
Nick Rawlings, editor, Road Safety News

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With all subscribers agreeing with whatever is going on it's going to be a useless Forum. With dissention and discourse, agreements and disagreements, that's what makes it one of the most interesting Forums on the internet.

I hope that you were not concluding that all you ever wanted was yes men because you haven't got it and I sympathise sometimes with the possible dilemmas that you frequently face. To print or not to print?

That said, I support the endeavours of road safety in all its various forms but it doesn't mean that I have to agree with everything.

As regards Iain's comments. I cannot understand how one can interrogate a paper document which obviously contained information relevant to a number (not known) of able bodied elderly persons who decided to cross a road but not at a crossing and subsequently suffered injury. Perhaps he meant asked questions relating to the facts outlined or made obvious in such reports. The outcome is the same. Elderly persons suffered injury.
Bob craven Lancs..Space is safe Campaigner

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Nick, Lancashire:
I think many readers will welcome your call for 'collaboration not confrontation' in discussion threads. I know I certainly do!
Nick Rawlings, editor, Road Safety News

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I think I agree (at least partially) with everyone who has posted a response on this thread! In my experience so far there is virtually always more than one factor involved in the lead-up to a collision. Therefore isn't "the" solution most likely to involve several different approaches so that each factor can potentially be addressed? This may reduce the impression that someone else is to blame when in fact we all need to moderate our behaviours/attitudes/actions etc?

Can I suggest that by accepting that there is no single approach to reducing collisions and that by working in partnership all those who are striving to reduce collisions may produce greater results for a considerable reduction in effort?

Sometimes these threads remind me of the recent Westminster elections where voters are led to believe by each party that their solutions are the only way forward when there are good and bad policies in each manifesto.... collaboration not confrontation please.
Nick, Lancashire

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Bill said - this initiative was devised following interrogation of statistical information on a number of collisions involving ‘older’ able bodied pedestrians being knocked over very close to pedestrian crossing facilities or crossing whilst being masked by stationary vehicles, once again very close to a ‘safer’ crossing place.

I don't see how this could be mistaken for saying "they asked questions of a number (not reported) of elderly pedestrians".
Iain, Scotland

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Am I reading this wrong or did Bill state that this was a data led approach in that they asked questions of a number (not reported) of elderly pedestrians who unfortunately got knocked over whilst crossing a road somewhere near but not actually on a pedestrian crossing. Further it would appear at busy traffic times. That's how I read it.

If Glasgow want to save lives, unnecessary suffering and reduce health costs perhaps it should move the crossings to places where pedestrians are seen to cross. Or alternatively make more crossing places available. Further, to perhaps consider involving themselves with my initiative of Space is Safe and educating all vehicular drivers, cyclists etc that by giving the appropriate stopping distances equal to one lamp post or over in a 30 mph area then they will be able to see pedestrians about to cross or crossing and be able to slow and accommodate them and not have them throwing themselves onto the bonnet or at least in front of their vehicles.

It appears to me that the answer is simple. Educate drivers on stopping or following on distances that will have a direct effect on the visibility of all road users and perhaps with greater sight by all parties and safer distance and greater reaction time there will be a new compassion for those more vulnerable pedestrians that have difficulty crossing roads.
Bob Craven Lancs....Space is Safe Campaigner

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Thanks for that clarification Bill. I am pleased to hear that a holistic approach is being taken and that the initiative is not as one sided as the bus-sized banner seems to imply.

Reducing danger on the roads happens best when a combination of engineering, legislative and behaviour change initiatives can come together to change the interaction of people and vehicular machines in our communities.

And with Glasgow looking at following Edinburgh and other iconic cities with wide-area 20mph limits then certainly this is another initiative that can bring these together. Our briefing sheets on the particular benefits for the elderly can be seen on our briefing at:

Good luck with your campaign.
Rod King, 20's Plenty for Us

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I don't think Rod King is being negative. This initiative is well-intentioned but again, ignores the elephant in the room. Instead of trying to educate the 'hard to reach' pedestrians in how not to be a victim, we should concentrate even more on how to stop the motorised road users being the culprit. The motorised road users - which includes me and presumably most if not everyone who reads this forum - must accept that they have to take ultimate responsibility for their actions if they collide with slower/static road users. Simply be alert for pedestrians, anticipate and be able to stop - no surprise, no accident to borrow Duncan's maxim.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

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As someone who has knowledge of the partnership in Glasgow I feel compelled to try to clarify this programme, one of many covering all groups of road users that Go Safe has developed over the years.

Glasgow is an authority who takes their responsibilities for road safety extremely seriously and backs this responsibility up with action across all disciplines. Many of the programmes developed over the life of the partnership have featured on this site.
Glasgow has always adopted a data led approach and this initiative was devised following interrogation of statistical information on a number of collisions involving ‘older’ able bodied pedestrians being knocked over very close to pedestrian crossing facilities or crossing whilst being masked by stationary vehicles, once again very close to a ‘safer’ crossing place.

This particular campaign also asks drivers to play their part, and includes sections of film footage and advice to drivers from police advanced drivers to be vigilant and be aware of those less able at all times. It is a truly holistic campaign and involves the very young in the schools, right through to senior members of our society in Glasgow.

The particular group that it focuses on – the elderly – have always been a ‘hard to reach’ group for the road safety profession. I would like to think that the positive efforts of the partnership in Glasgow should be encouraged rather than be discouraged by Rod’s comments and will continue to provide a road safety service that has helped deliver a safer road environment for all of the people of the City.

The work of the partnership has led to substantially reduced road casualties over the years and this is in no small way due to council supported road safety education and training programmes coupled with effective speed management measures and believe it or not, something, with one or two exceptions, not seen too often across the UK - a road safety action plan!
Bill, Giffnock

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Well just look at the poster "Make the effort, find the crossing, Push the Button and WAIT".

Does that really seem like a sensitive message to put to people with mobility issues?

Of course it could be that Glasgow is gloriously endowed with pedestrian crossing every 100 metres so that the "effort" that the elderly "Have to make" is minimilised. But I doubt it.

The initiative seems, from the article, to be totally focussed on changing the behaviour of the elderly pedestrians as well as the blind and partially sighted.

If it is to be balanced and successful shouldn't it be including and heralding asking for drivers to be empathetic to the needs of the vulnerable road users.
Rod King, 20's Plenty for Us

Agree (12) | Disagree (9)

It is a shame to try to turn a positive item into a negative one by accusing an empowering and informative programme of being "victim focussed". This is just one of the many initiatives run in Glasgow and Scotland, many of which are addressed to drivers and other road users - this one is for the benefit of pedestrians. Unless the proposal is that we must never inform or educate any road user about anything unless they are a vehicle driver?
Honor Byford, Chair, Road Safety GB

Agree (15) | Disagree (7)

From reading the article this seems to be a depressingly "victim focused" campaign.

Whilst I am in favour of pedestrians being aware of the benefits of using ped crossings, surely we need to get across to drivers a tolerance of people such as elderly who use the roads and have limited mobility and acuity. Leaving drivers out of the message implies them not having a role to play in protecting some of our most vulnerable road users.
Rod King, 20's Plenty for Us

Agree (10) | Disagree (13)