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Gender neutral traffic signs on the way in Finland

Dozens of traffic signs have been redesigned as Finland's transport agency looks to bring them up to date. The figures portrayed in signage will be more gender neutral but also clearer to interpret.

Image: AOP
Yle News

Finland's traffic signage is facing a revamp as the Transport Agency looks to reconfigure the way it communicates with pedestrians and motorists. The new signs come as part of a broad transport reform currently going through parliament, and will see the signs switch to use more gender-neutral figures.

Ratsastus kielletty vanha liikennemerkki.
Ratsastus kielletty uusi liikennemerkki.
Signs will include figures wearing helmets

The signs will de-emphasise the physical attributes of the characters portrayed, leading to a more gender-neutral sign.

"In the reform it doesn't really matter whether it's a man or a woman," said Jukka Hopeavuori of the Transport Agency. "The important thing is that the figure in the sign walks, or shows the appropriate action."

Suojatie vanha liikennemerkki.
Suojatie uusi liikennemerkki.
The man from the old zebra crossing signs will be changed to a simplified figure

The majority of the road signs currently in use will be redesigned, in the first large-scale redesign since the 1980s. Back then the work was undertaken by official designers under ministry guidance, whereas now the design work has been outsourced.

jalankulku kielletty vanha liikennemerkki.
jalankulku kielletty uusi liikennemerkki.
This sign will include more of a stick figure as the pedestrian

The goal of the redesign is to improve the visibility and clarity of the signage, and to introduce a few dozen completely new signs.

One new sign will be the minimum speed sign, which will mandate the slowest possible speed a driver can hit on that section of the road.

Pyörätie ja Jalkakaytava vanha liikennemerkki
Pyörätie ja Jalkakaytava uusi liikennemerkki
A newer bike and an adult and child are in the works
Uudet Liikennemerkit Vähimmäisnopeus Väistämisvelvollisuus Pyöräkatu
New road signs: minimum speed, bicycle crossing and bike lane. Image: Liikennevirasto

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