"We are not squirrels, are we?"

Britain already had a traffic sign to warn drivers to be careful for elderly people crossing the street. Now, the signs are popping up in Flanders. Alsemberg, near Brussels, decided to put a sign near a nursing home. A good idea for some, although others are voicing criticism.

It's not an official Belgian sign yet. The initiative in Alsemberg was a local one. Lynn De Schutter of the nursing home Zennehart in Alsemberg: "We go out for a walk once a week in summer, and some older patients regularly go out for a walk on their own. We noticed that some people are driving relatively fast. On top of that, the local road makes a slight turn. That is how we got the idea. You don't always notice them, and often they don't notice you at all." 

Critics say that the sign brings a negative image of old people. "Not all of them can't walk straight any longer, on the contrary, and why the stick?" they say. Lynn De Schutter says they opted for this particular drawing because it has to capture the driver's attention immediately. "It should be a clear sign!"

François is staying in the old people's home. "I think it's a great initiative. Some of us are really slow. And we deserve the attention. We are not squirrels or wild boars, are we?"

A small detail: whereas the British elderly are crossing from left to right, this is the reverse in Belgium.