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Belfast News Give Us Back Our Green Men!


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Belfast News Give Us Back Our Green Men!
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Belfast News Give Us Back Our Green Men!

Everyone across Northern Ireland is aware of the importance of Road Safety and the dangers in failing to stop, look and listen.

We all remember hard hitting DOE campaigns targeting young drivers, little boy racers and even drivers on their mobile phones. You may even remember campaigns targeted at cyclists or pedestrians and initiatives that saw flashing lights placed on all school buses to alert drivers to disembarking children.

If you're old enough you may even remember the super hero of road safety the Green Cross Code Man and his Green Cross Code which involved the key steps Think, Stop, Look, Listen and Cross!

Or, how about the series of puppet animations featuring the red squirrel Tufty Fluffytail which in the 60's saw the creation of the Tufty Club for children under five with nationwide members.

Despite all the campaigns every parent teaches their child to cross at the lights, to stop, push the button and when the green man illuminates on the sign opposite, to check both ways for traffic before crossing safely and quickly to the other side. Even adults with no children observe these rules for the benefit of children crossing, although maybe not so much when there isn't.

So, what's the big deal?

Across, Northern Ireland new lights are being erected which have no green man, flashing or otherwise on the opposing post. This means that children and adults alike face new dangers as they take their eyes off the roads to look at the new signs. Parents are now having to teach their children to observe the post where they pushed the button rather than keeping their eyes on the road and await the signal to cross on the post opposite.

Why is it so important?

Well, the dangers on our roads are real and everyone needs to remain alert to both the traffic and the signals. Is it safe to have children take their eyes off the road? Is it safe to have children who cannot see the sign because there are others present, cross the road just because everyone else is?

In East Belfast along the proposed rapid transport route these lights have been installed and watching the new and bad habits forming on roads where people have lost their lives is alarming.

So our call to the DRD is unless you have a very good reason to replace our little green men, up on the opposing poles and visible to all, a reason that is more important than someone's life, then stop, look and listen!