As described in the 2003 report entitled: Collisions involving large animals and motor vehicles in Canada by L-P Tardif, there are many mitigation measures applied across Canada. Following is a brief summary of the types of measures applied in the provinces for wildlife accident mitigation. Nancy Newhouse of Sylvan Consulting in British Columbia provided some of the information gathered in this section. Sylvan has been active in several mitigation projects both in Canada and in the United States.
The province is focusing mostly on signage and education/awareness campaigns especially during the peak seasons.
Their data analysis has shown that:
- The risk of an animal-vehicle collision occurring is 2.7 times greater during the peak versus the non-peak period.
- The risk of a severe injury is 1.5 times greater during darkness than daylight.
- The risk of a severe injury is 1.8 times greater at highway speeds.
- The risk of a severe injury or death when involved in a moose-motorcycle accident is 12 times greater than for all other passenger vehicles combined.
- 9% of injured occupants were not wearing seatbelts when the accident occurred (excluding accidents involving motorcycles). This group accounted for 29% of fatalities.
- The risk of a fatal injury is 8 times greater for those individuals involved in an accident and who are not wearing a seatbelt.
- According to an RCMP report in Newfoundland, the average estimated vehicle damage is $3,000.
Prince Edward Island:
PEI is not facing much of an issue regarding animal-vehicle collisions.
Nova Scotia’s main problem is with deer-vehicle collisions. They have put into place the following measures for dealing with wildlife: underpasses, fish culverts and signage.
New Brunswick is active on mitigation measures. They have put into place fish culverts, electric fencing, overpasses, open bridges, signage and reflectors.
The mitigation measures put into place in Quebec include: overpasses, fish culverts, electric fencing, lighting, signage, detection systems, destruction of salt ponds, and zones with special speed limits. They tested electric fencing in the Laurentide Park, where every year 65 collisions usually happen. They installed two electric fences: one of 5 kilometers and another one 10 kilometers long. They also installed special gates in the fences for the animals to use in order to cross. After three years of testing, the results show that fences have been effective in 75% of the cases in preventing an animal from crossing the road at points other than the gates and no collisions took place in the fenced area.
The mitigation measures put into place in Ontario include: education and awareness, fencing, lighting, repellents, signage and some areas with special speed limits. More specifically, in some areas with high exposure rates such as northern Ontario, the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario has been working on specific programs.
- Regional Working Group
In the spring of 2000, the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario Northeastern Region formed a regional committee that targets highway motorists travelling through northwest Ontario (i.e. Sault Ste Marie to the Manitoba border). The coalition, called the Highway Safety Education Committee (HSEC), is made up of concerned citizens, the Ministry of Transportation (MTO), Ontario Provincial Police, the District Health Unit, several independent trucking and logging companies, Thunder Bay Regional Hospital, the Regional Coroner, Lakehead University, Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario and Bowater Forest Products.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and nine community injury prevention coalitions, in partnership with the Ontario Provincial Police, developed placemats to elevate driver awareness of the risk of striking a wild animal, and to provide helpful tips that may reduce their chance of becoming involved in a wildlife collision. As the majority of wildlife collisions in Ontario occur during the hours of darkness, the focus of this initiative was an emphasis on the increased risk while traveling during early morning hours or at night. 100,000 placemats were printed (English/French flip) and distributed to restaurants throughout Northeastern Ontario. This initiative was launched in April 2005 to coincide with the increased risk motorists face during this time of year, and ran for a period of three weeks.
A poster was developed to complement the placemat initiative and provide consistent messaging to the public. 1,000 posters were distributed to restaurants, beer/liquor stores, government information centres, police services, tourist information centers, provincial parks, public libraries and municipal offices.
- Highway Signage
As a pilot project, two new wildlife warning signs were developed by the Ministry of Transportation and installed in 10 high risk areas across Northeastern Ontario. In keeping with the theme of night-time collisions, the signs were created to provide a similar appearance to the placemats and posters. These signs have been strategically placed along provincial highways. The signs will remain in place for a period of three years, at which time their effectiveness will be evaluated.
- Media Launch
Simultaneously to these public education products, a media launch was held in April prior to the products being distributed.
- Wildlife Pamphlet
Corporately, the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario has just developed and released its first wildlife pamphlet. There was significant interest by media outlets in southern and eastern Ontario to host on-air interviews to discuss this issue.
The following mitigation measures have been deployed in Manitoba: fish culverts, snake pipes, fencing and signage.
The following mitigation measures have been deployed in Saskatchewan: electronic warning systems, fish culverts, reflectors and zones with special speed limits.
The following mitigation measures have been deployed in Alberta: bridges, underpasses, overpasses, fish culverts, jersey barrier openings, jump-outs, signs, "caribou cowboy" (to scare caribou off road), alternative de-icers, zones with special speed limits and reflectors.
The following mitigation measures have been deployed in British Columbia: overpasses, underpasses, fish culverts, badger culverts, fencing, signage, animal detection systems, right-ofway habitat modifications, repellents, reflectors and public awareness campaigns.
The following mitigation measures have been deployed in Yukon: fish culverts, signage, salt reduction and vegetation control.
The following mitigation measures have been deployed in the Northwest Territories: fish culverts and public awareness campaigns.
Exhibit 6.1 Summary of Mitigation Measures by Province / Territory
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