'Incensed' Girl Gets Country to Change 'Unfair' Road Signs

Zoe Carew, 7, says 'Linemen' is sexist; NZ transport group agrees to change to 'Line Crew'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2018 8:27 AM CDT
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In New Zealand, future road signs will read "Line Crew" instead of "Linemen," thanks to 7-year-old Zoe Carew.   (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti, File)

(Newser) – The New Zealand Transport Agency has a new task at hand, and a 7-year-old girl to thank for the assignment. Zoe Carew was traveling to see her grandparents in Eastbourne when she noticed a "Linemen" sign along the side of the road indicating workers were dealing with power lines, and per the Guardian, she became "incensed." So incensed, in fact, that she penned a note to Fergus Gammie, the transportation group's chief, telling him she thought the sign was "wrong and unfair," as women could also perform this work. "Do you agree?" she asked in the letter, which her mom posted online. "Can you please change the sign to say 'Line-workers' instead, or something else correct and fair like that," she requested.

And Gammie responded, saying they intended to implement her idea, but with modifications. Using "Line-workers," he explained, would require the signs to be made larger, so instead the NZTA opted for "Line Crew," which would fit on current signs. He noted the new wording would be included in upcoming specifications, and that the new signs will be swapped in for old ones as they give way to "wear and tear, [which] may take some time." The agency also gave Zoe a shout-out on Twitter, posting, "Great ideas can come from anyone, including seven-year-olds! Good on you, Zoe!" As for Zoe, "I don't really want to be a line-worker when I grow up because there are so many more exciting things I would like to do," she noted in her letter—but other girls might.

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