Reacting to wildlife on the road
Published Friday, June 29, 2018 6:56PM EDT
As Canada Day weekend approaches, there will be plenty of people driving northern highways to go camping or to visit relatives or attend festivals.
And the Ontario Provincial Police are urging people to be careful and watch for wildlife.
There have been a number of incidents lately and even one fatality.
Within the last year, over 400 moose crashes took place in the northeast region and the OPP says it's the bugs that are driving animals out of the bush and onto our highways.
"There are a lot of biting insects that are active at this time of year, and animals like to get out to open areas, where there is a breeze, and maybe alleviate some of the effects of those biting insects. As well, bears and deer have had their young already, and they are starting to move out of their denning areas and moving to the food sources." said OPP Sergeant Carlo Berardi.
With the high number of wildlife collisions here in the north, Laurentian Driving School instructor, Joel Quenville, says during his lessons he teaches the students a game that he hopes they won’t forget.
“I always tell the class, do you want to play with a smart car or with a bus? Because if they hit a moose, a smart car will bounce right back into you, but with a bus, transport, that will have a much better chance. So, playing follow the leader means to leave that four-second distance minimum.” said Quenville.
CTV News spoke Lori Moggy, who struck a deer at dusk in the month of November. Thankfully no one was hurt during the accident, but she says she is a lot more cautious now while driving.
"I am definitely more aware of the wildlife, not even just at dusk. I find now that they are really bad during the day too just for walking up out the ditches. So, basically what I do while I'm driving is just scan the ditches on both sides." said Moggy.
“So, I think it's the attitude people have. They always think ‘oh it won't happen to me’, but if you have the attitude that every time you go on the highway that you're going to hit a moose, you're going to be looking for that moose a lot more." said Quenville.
Police are urging drivers to slow down and stay alert, especially at dusk, dawn and throughout the night.