November has arrived and, along with the month of May, it shares the distinction of being the most likely month for you to run into wildlife on B.C.’s roads.
Eighty per cent of wildlife collisions in this province involve deer and occur between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. However, moose, elk, bear and sheep are involved as well.
During 2007, almost 6,000 animal collisions were noted in the Wildlife Accident Reporting System, which contains data provided by B.C.’s road maintenance contractors. I suspect that this number is not the entire picture, as some animals are able to struggle away from the collision scene and die unnoticed and uncounted.
The human cost is high as well. An average of two humans die annually, and there was an estimated bill of about $24 million last year for collision claims and highway cleanup expenses.
You may wish to blame the animals; after all, they don’t know enough to stay out of the way of traffic. However, I did wonder about us when I watched a driver pass an oversized sign with flashing yellow lights warning of deer crossing.
He was travelling well over the suggested speed, as well as being over the posted speed when he collided with a deer that was walking across the highway.
For more information on this topic, visit www.drivesmartbc.ca. Questions or comments are welcome by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Tim Schewe is a retired RCMP constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. His column appears Friday.