Ending of racial segregation in US schools, the fall of apartheid, these are seen by society as some of the greatest achievements of mankind. Hence, the irony when sexist anti-male car insurer Sheila’s Wheels demands gender segregation on roads. 100 years after fighting to get women the vote, what would Emmeline Pankhurst, leader of the Suffragette movement, made of proposals for bright pink, female-only motorway lanes?
They claim to have “recognised the need to make UK roads safer for women drivers and have identified PinkZones, a concept that would see separate lanes for female drivers on UK roads, as a potential vision of the future”.
Handily identifiable in the universally female-friendly shade of luminous pink, reminiscent of the Labour pink bus scandal, the lanes would only be for drivers blessed with two X chromosomes. The proposal from Sheila’s Wheels claims the cost of creating the “Pink Zones” is a bargain: “46 times cheaper than HS2” — a proposed, high-speed mass transit rail system currently under consideration in England.
The repainting of the roads to create “Pink Zones” is just the first stage of the plan from Sheila’s Wheels. Stage two would be the creation of “women-only flyovers above some of Britain’s busiest roads.” The insurer also called for female-only fly-overs so women can assert not only their metaphorical but also literal hierarchy over male drivers.
“Separate lanes for women on roads would not only increase safety, but also would remove them from a potentially dangerous environment. PinkZones would be designed specifically for female drivers to enhance quality of life.”
Speaking on the concept, Andy Sommer, spokesperson for Sheilas’ Wheels said: “As the UK’s leading car insurer for women, Sheilas’ Wheels is serious about creating a safer road network for female drivers and we believe a discussion about how best to achieve this is long overdue.” ~Shiela’s Wheels, Pink Zones.
Peter Rodger, Chief Examiner, at Institute of Advanced Motorists said: “While PinkZones may be something of a utopia for female drivers, there’s clearly a need to identify how to provide a safer driving environment on the road. Driver safety is a paramount concern for us and we’re in favour of promoting further discussion about how to tackle the gender differences in driving to make it safer for all road users.”
The company doesn’t want all roads to be segregated, just the “most dangerous” ones. Researching into the concept, a survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of Sheilas’ Wheels revealed an awkward result: 68% of those polled said they would support separate lanes for certain drivers, with only 11% believing that men in the UK were safer on the roads than women.
YouGov research: Total sample size was 2, 423 GB adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 19-20 June. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).