Drivers warned to be aware of deer danger on country's roads

Drivers are being warned to be on the lookout for deer on Angus roads as peak season for movement between territories approaches.

Friday, 26th May 2023, 3:29pm
Drivers warned to be aware of deer danger on country's roads

A campaign has been launched across Scotland by NatureScot, which is also working with Transport Scotland and Traffic Scotland to display warning messages on electronic variable message signs (VMS) in the areas of the highest risk between May 24 and June 14.

In recent decades, deer populations in Scotland have both increased in number and spread in range.

Alongside growth in road traffic this has inevitably led to an increased risk of collisions between deer and vehicles, with almost 24,000 recorded since 2003.

May and June are the peak months for collisions as young roe deer disperse to look for their own territories, with dusk the period of highest risk.

Dominic Sargent, NatureScot Deer Policy Officer, said: “Public safety is a really important part of our wider work with partners to reduce deer impacts across Scotland, particularly in the areas where we know those impacts are highest.

“On the road network, the key collision locations appear to be mainly around junctions that have small areas of woodland nearby. We think that a combination of deer using the woodland as daytime refuges, a lack of continuous traffic on slip roads and reduced visibility on curved slip roads could be factors at play.

“As we enter the peak period for collisions, this campaign will remind drivers always to be ‘deer aware’, slow down and stay alert to help reduce the likelihood of collisions.”

Angus Corby, Transport Scotland Landscape and Biodiversity Manager, said: “Transport Scotland is pleased to continue our partnership with NatureScot to tackle the challenge of reducing the risk of deer-vehicle-collisions across Scotland’s Trunk Road Network.

“The two organisations are working to establish and maintain a picture of the areas across the country where such risk appears highest, for a number of reasons, so that mitigation efforts can be focussed and more effective, both for the welfare of the deer and road-user safety.”

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