Slow down: Wildlife, pets and children are still using roads

Fewer cars on the road doesn’t mean speed limits and danger don’t exist.

Work from home orders, self-isolation and social distancing all have led to fewer cars being on many roads in Canada. Unfortunately, some drivers are using this opportunity to speed and take risks they normally wouldn’t on urban, suburban and rural roads. What they’re forgetting is other cars aren’t the only risk: wildlife, pets and children can still appear like a flash on our roads.

Talking to the drivers in your household and community – regardless of age – can help keep everyone safe during this transitionary period. Here’s a few things to keep in mind:

  • Children are out of school and that means they may be outdoors at different times of day than typical. Be especially cautious for children when there are multiple cars parked on the side of the road or other environmental features that block their ability to see you and your ability to see them.
  • Dogs are loving the extra walks and cats continue to consider themselves royalty. Domestic pets such as dogs and cats are also going to be potentially more active in our communities for the same reason children are: people are at home. Remember that not all people follow leash laws and some leashes can extend up to 20 feet from the handler.
  • Wildlife may be exploring more than usual. In spring we expect to see wildlife emerging, but with fewer people on roads and congregating less, individual animals may be showing their curiosity in our communities. Whether larger animals like deer or bears or smaller critters like squirrels and foxes, be aware that wildlife may be moving differently across human-made environments.
  • Keep your eyes on the road. Put down the phone, keep your eyes up and looking for issues on the road before you need to react to keep yourself and everyone in your community safe.

While the world changes in response to pandemic, some of our habits simply need minor adjustments to keep everyone safe. Please speak within your community to remind people of these important changes and tips.

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