Across the country, governors move to make roads safer for people and wildlife

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Watch Out for Wildlife Week proclamation first step to ending costly collisions

Summary:

  • Each year, up to two million wildlife-vehicle collisions cause over 200 human deaths and 29,000 serious injuries and cost Americans up to $8.4 billion.
  • While deer continue to be the number one victim of collisions on the road, collisions impact a wide range of wildlife, including 21 federally listed threatened or endangered species such as Florida panther, lynx and San Joaquin kit fox.
  • Reducing the number of collisions with wildlife can be as easy as slowing down and increasing the amount of time a driver has to react to animals on the road.
  • Governors across the country have proclaimed the third week in September as “Watch Out for Wildlife Week,” in order to raise public awareness of the dangers roads pose to people and wildlife and the practical solutions to make them safer.
WASHINGTON (09/19/2011) -

To date, 21 governors have proclaimed September 18-24 “Watch Out for Wildlife Awareness Week.” The following is a statement from Trisha White, director of the Habitats and Highways program at Defenders of Wildlife:


“People need to realize that wildlife-vehicle collisions can put a major dent in their wallets as well as their fenders. There is a wildlife-vehicle collision every 26 seconds in this country, with each costing the consumer an average of $7,000.  The economic toll is staggering, to say nothing of the toll it takes on wildlife.


“But there are solutions to reduce this damage. From innovative overpasses to adjusted speed zones, highway and wildlife agencies are working to make safe passages for animals. Drivers have the responsibility to do their part as well, by watching out for wildlife when behind the wheel.


“By proclaiming this week in September ‘Watch Out for Wildlife Week,’ governors across the country are raising awareness about the devastation taking place on our roads, a critical first step to making them safer for people and wildlife.”

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Links:

Learn more about wildlife-vehicle collisions and how we can make our roads safer during this year’s Watch Out for Wildlife blog series.

See which governors have taken action and read their official proclamations here.

Contact(s):

Caitlin Leutwiler, (202) 772-3226, cleutwiler@defenders.org