Ontario government brochure to help drivers avoid collisions with wildlife

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Knowing the facts can reduce the risk: over 13,000 wildlife collisions reported

QUEEN’S PARK, ON, Sept. 20 – The Ontario government is improving
road safety with a new brochure to help drivers avoid potentially deadly
wildlife collisions, Transportation Minister Harinder Takhar said today.

“One in every 18 motor vehicle crashes involves a wild animal. This
represents an 86-per-cent increase over the past decade. In 2003 alone,
four people were killed, and 500 others hurt in over 13,000 collisions
involving wild animals. Raising public awareness will help save lives,”
Takhar added.

The ministry’s “Watch For Wildlife” brochure offers drivers safety tips,
including:

  • Brake firmly if an animal is standing on the road, or about to cross.

  • Never assume the animal will move out of the way.

  • Never swerve suddenly. This could cause your vehicle to go out of control.

  • Scan the road ahead from shoulder to shoulder. When you see wildlife beside the road, slow down and pass carefully, as they could suddenly bolt onto the road.

To reduce collisions, the ministry has also taken several other steps,
including installing fencing along major highways, better lighting, and
posting warning signs where wildlife is known to roam.

“In some areas of the province, wild animal populations are quite high,
increasing the risk of collisions, particularly at night,” said Natural
Resources Minister David Ramsay. “The Ministry of Natural Resources is
taking action to better manage populations in these areas, which will
increase the safety of motorists.”

“On average, a motor vehicle collides with a wild animal every 38
minutes. Ninety per cent of these collisions happen on two-lane roads in
rural areas, during the spring and the fall mating season. We’re helping to
better prepare drivers this fall,” Takhar said.

The brochure can be found online at www.mto.gov.on.ca, in schools,
Ministry of Natural Resources offices, Ontario Parks and local road safety
partners such as police, public health and community groups. It can also be
obtained by calling 416-235-3473, 1-800-373-5099.