Search

Suffolk alters signs after fears of animal cruelty confusion on the roads

PUBLISHED: 12:37 14 August 2017 | UPDATED: 16:53 15 August 2017

An old cats eyes sign. Picture: APA

An old cats eyes sign. Picture: APA

Archant

Roads chiefs in Suffolk have dropped the traditional signs warning drivers: “Cats eyes removed” after fears they could be mistaken as animal cruelty.

A cats eye/road stud in position. Picture: APAA cats eye/road stud in position. Picture: APA

The advice that a road was being resurfaced – and the familiar reflective studs in the middle temporarily taken up – has often been misinterpreted, especially by children and tourists from abroad.

Now the signs have been replaced with new ones that warn road users: “Caution road studs removed.”

The change has been welcomed by visitors – American Frances Knobel, from Florida, on holiday in Hadleigh, admitted she was stunned when she first saw the cats’ eyes warning.

“I had no idea – I had to stop the car and go back to see if I had read the sign correctly. It didn’t make any sense and seemed very gruesome that people would boast that poor domestic animals were being so horribly mistreated.

“A local explained that it was name that Brits gave to the light-reflecting rubber pads that reflect headlights.”

Mum Rebecca Brewer, from Ipswich, said: “I have a five-year-old daughter who was very upset the first time she saw the sign – she really thought that cruel people were torturing cats. I had to explain to her what it meant – and that our pet cat was quite safe.”

Now Suffolk County Council has switched to the new and less ambiguous warning sign. A spokesman said: “The term road studs is one we now use as standard.”

A spokesman for the Retroreflective Equipment Manufacturers Association said: “From the early days of the cat’s eyes, which are still used to this day, road studs are to be found throughout the UK road network.

“They fulfil a very important function in providing guidance to drivers in conditions of poor visibility.”

Cats eyes were invented by Yorkshireman Percy Shaw who came up with idea after a narrow brush with death in the 1930s.

Driving home from work on a foggy dark night, he encountered a cat one as his headlamps picked up the reflection from the animal’s eyes and had he not seen it he may well have driven off the road and crashed.

He spent the following months trying to develop a man-made version of the cat’s eye and after many trials and failures he eventually took out patents on his invention in March 1935.

Other news

Reports of fires being set deliberately have piled more pressure on the fire service this weekend, as they continue to battle against dry conditions.

A joint task group from two councils will thrash out ideas for a solution over controversial plans to close Lowestoft Record Office.

18:02

If you were hoping to see things cool off and maybe get some rain to revive the garden you maybe out of luck as Norfolk looks set for a return to sweltering weather.

17:51

Around 3,000 people packed out Lowestoft’s Royal Green to enjoy a show stopping performance of James Bond hits.

Most Read

10:50

People who die without enough money for a cremation are being buried in unmarked communal graves.

Read more
Peter Aldous
Yesterday, 15:10

Hundreds of people have flocked to Lowestoft’s seafront as the town’s annual summer festival gets under way.

Read more
Phil Aves
Yesterday, 17:31

Police have condemned a dog owner who left their pet alone in a car during today’s stifling heat.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:23

A disqualified driver has been caught with cloned number plates and a “retro” Slim Jim lock pick.

Read more
12:40

One of Beccles’ most prized community assets will soon be under control of its town council.

Read more
Waveney District Council

Later in Life

cover

Click here to view
the Later in Life
supplement

View

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 23°C

min temp: 18°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Lowestoft Journal
e-edition today

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up

Lowestoft Journal weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy