County calls for caution after steep increase in wildlife collisions
After more than triple the number of collisions compared to last year, including one fatality, drivers are asked to exercise more caution and watch for wildlife when driving.
“Things can happen very quickly, especially when it comes to wildlife on the road,” said Sturgeon County Mayor Alanna Hnatiw. “By taking a little extra time, keeping your eyes on the road and the ditches, and basically expecting the unexpected, hopefully, we can prevent or at least reduce the number of collisions with wildlife on the roads.”
Since September 4, 2020, there have been seven collisions with wildlife, compared to only two collisions over this same period last year. All the collisions this fall have involved moose, which is particularly dangerous for the motorist and any passengers in the vehicle.
“Moose are much more difficult to see due to their height,” said Pat Mahoney, Manager, Protective Services and Fire Chief for Sturgeon County. “Their eyes are usually above the beams of most vehicle headlights and don’t reflect the light. That’s why it’s so important that people slow down when driving, particularly between dusk and dawn, in areas wildlife are known to cross.”
Along with decreased visibility from the reduced hours of daylight, fall is also rutting season for moose and deer. Moose rut happens in late September to mid-late October, while deer rutting season extends into early December. During this period, deer and moose are particularly active, especially at dusk and dawn, when there are also more drivers on the road commuting to and from work.
“Having wildlife more active at times of day when there are more drivers on the road is the perfect mix for collisions, which is why drivers need to exercise more caution,” said Mahoney. “We want people to know that Fall is Collision Primetime. To help, we put up tips and information for drivers to help reduce their chances of a collision with wildlife.”
More information on the campaign can be found at http://www.sturgeoncounty.ca/News-Events/Newsroom/fall-is-wildlife-collision-primetime. Tips and information will also be shared on the County’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.
If you have been in a collision with wildlife and the animal is injured, contact Alberta Fish and Wildlife:
- Barrhead – 780-674-8236
- Stony Plain/Spruce Grove – 780-960-8190
To report a deceased animal on a provincial highway, contact 780-963-5711 or Emcon Services Inc. at 1-800-390-2242.
To report a deceased animal on a County road, contact Transportation Services at 780-939-8252.
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