Voices is the Dorset Echo's weekly youth page - written for young people by young people.

A controversial subject, the new signs that have been appearing alongside Dorset’s roads. They consist of bold illuminated letters and show the message ‘The road is not a game, Choices for humanity.’ Overall this is an important message, but doesn’t hold as much meaning as it could and in theory should make the viewer think twice about dangerous driving, however the brightness of the sign causes people to divert their eyes from the road for a few seconds and try and read the message displayed to them. This short period of time is crucial between you glancing at the sign and a potentially fatal accident that could’ve been stopped if you weren’t distracted.

It was reported last month by the Dorset Echo that Assistant Chief Constable Julie Fielding, chairman of the Dorset Road Safety Partnership, said: "We’re now seeing 30 per cent less people killed and seriously injured on our roads each year versus 2012 and this is a positive step. However, we cannot be complacent. It is vital that we continue to find new and innovative ways to prevent casualties on our roads…”

It is true that there are reckless drivers on our roads putting lives of innocent people in danger and they need to have the message drilled into them that one day their disregard for the road will potentially cause devastation and that could be for a fellow road user, a pedestrian or themselves. Although no incidents have been related to these signs, what’s to say in the future that split second of time could dramatically change someone’s life.

60% of the people I asked thought the signs could be a distraction, whilst 40% believed the message wasn’t powerful enough to be plastered everywhere. On the other hand, perhaps if the majority of people are in agreement that the signs have a positive impact, then they could contain some more personal statistics. For example, according to GOV.UK ‘There were 1,770 road deaths in the year ending June 2018.’ Statistics like these alongside a powerful message are more likely to affect a person than a simple slogan.

By Hollie Carr