October 25, 2006

Ontario government reminds drivers to watch for wildlife

Ottawa, Ontario – Ontario transportation minister Donna Cansfield has joined wildlife and road safety partners in Ottawa to highlight efforts aimed at reducing wildlife collisions. Cansfield says collisions with wildlife have increased by 86 per cent in the past decade, with a collision occurring every 38 minutes in the province.

The Ottawa Wildlife Collision Prevention Initiative runs through October and November, and includes increased speed limit enforcement, billboards, and advertising on radio and television. The initiative is supported by the Ministry of Transportation, CAA, Ontario Provincial Police and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters.

Important safety tips include:

  • be aware of the dangers of animals darting into traffic, and scan the road ahead from shoulder to shoulder.
  • when you see wildlife beside the road, slow down and pass carefully; animals may bolt suddenly onto the road.
  • watch for the yellow wildlife warning signs that indicate an area of increased risk, and slow down in these areas.
  • use high beams at night where possible, and watch for the glowing eyes of animals.
  • if possible, avoid driving during dusk or dawn, when most wildlife collisions occur
  • swerving to avoid hitting an animal may result in a more serious collision. If hitting an animal is unavoidable, remember to stay in control.

    The “Watch for Wildlife” brochure can be found online at www.mto.gov.on.ca, or by calling 1-800-373-5099.

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