OPP reminds drivers to be animal aware on the roads

Kerri Martin Deer Crossing Road
Spring is coming (mostly) to Ontario! And that, unfortunately, means that critters crossing roads will be at greater risk – and so will drivers.

As many as 15,000 wildlife-vehicle collisions are reported in Ontario each year, and that’s why the Ontario Provincial Police is offering reminders and tips to drivers on how to stay safe.

“Sometimes all it takes is a little reminder,” OPP Sergeant Peter Leon told The Fur-Bearers. “The snow’s melting, it’s starting to get warmer. And we’re going to start, unfortunately, seeing collisions occur again.”

Sgt. Leon provided some basic tips for drivers to help prevent wildlife conflict, which puts not just the animals at risk of serious injury, but drivers, too.

  • Use your high beams: when you’re in an area without artificial light, use your high beams when no other drivers are around to help illuminate the shoulders of roads.
  • If there’s one: it’s not uncommon for deer to travel together. If you see one deer cross the road, be prepared for a second.
  • Remember when: if you’ve seen animals in a certain area before, you may see them there again. Drive cautiously in these zones and be prepared to stop.
  • Eyes ahead: a basic tenet of safe driving is to look down the road – make sure you scan ahead to the shoulders, too, where wildlife often congregate.

Seasonal homeowners should also be preparing for the coming of wildlife, Sgt. Leon added, by cleaning up after themselves and ensuring no food sources are made available.

Photo by Kerri Martin Photography

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