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Friday, June 21, 2024

Watch Out for Roe Deer on The Roads

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Drivers are being reminded to be alert for roe deer on the roads at this peak time of year for collisions between deer and vehicles.

NatureScot’s spring road safety campaign, in collaboration with Transport Scotland and Traffic Scotland, is now underway with warning messages being displayed on selected electronic variable message signs (VMS) until June 14.

Deer populations in Scotland have increased in number and spread in range over the past 50 years, particularly in urban and lowland areas.

Together with an increase in road traffic this has resulted in collisions between deer and vehicles becoming increasingly common, with almost 2,000 recorded incidents each year.

It is thought many more go unreported. 

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.

Electronic messaging reminding drivers to be aware will be displayed on selected VMS targeting roads where the risk of a collision is heightened – the majority of which are in the central belt.

The same message will also be in place on signs in other locations across the country where collisions are a concern, including around Perth, Aberdeen, Dundee and Inverness.

Dominic Sargent, NatureScot Deer Policy Officer, said:

“Tackling the issue of deer/vehicle collisions is an important part of our work in managing deer impacts across Scotland.

“Reducing the risk not only helps to safeguard the public but is also beneficial for deer welfare.

“We know from recent analysis of deer/vehicle collisions on our trunk road network that many high-risk areas are around road junctions and major interchanges, predominantly in the central belt.

“Our campaign will remind drivers in these areas to be alert and slow down to help reduce the likelihood of collisions.

“We’re also continuing to explore what more can be done to mitigate the risk of collisions, with staff investigating deer numbers around high-risk areas and speaking to local land managers about their deer management plans.”

Angus Corby, Transport Scotland Landscape and Biodiversity Manager, said:

“Reducing the risk of deer-vehicle-collisions across Scotland’s Trunk Road Network is a real challenge, and Transport Scotland is pleased to continue our important partnership with NatureScot to tackle the issue.

“We are working closely together to establish and maintain a picture of the high-risk areas across the country, so we can focus our mitigation efforts and make them as effective as possible, both for road-user safety as well as the welfare of the deer.”

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