Road Safety Implications of Moose Inhabiting an Urban-Rural Interface
by Roy V. Rea
Natural Resources and Environmental Studies Institute and Ecosystem Science and Management Program, University of Northern British Columbia, 3333 University Way, Prince George, British Columbia, Canada, V2N 4Z9
In an attempt to elucidate when and where moose-related vehicular collisions occurred in the city of Prince George, British Columbia, Canada, we conducted a city-wide survey of various agency record-keepers in 2004. We also conducted an inventory of all animal-collision countermeasures that existed in the city. Our results suggest that at least 40 collisions between moose and motorists occurred each year in Prince George in 2002 and 2003, and that these collisions occurred predominantly during November and June and along the outskirts of town. Over 70% of moose warning signs installed in the city were incorrectly placed relative to where moose were most often struck. Following placement of additional new warning signs in newly identified collision hotspots and implementation of an aggressive public awareness campaign, collisions between motorists and moose dropped by 58%. We recommend constructing a database to which city agencies and residents can contribute animal-movement and collision statistics. This would supply road safety planners with current data for making up-to-date decisions on mitigation measures.
Key Words: animal-vehicle collision, collision mitigation, driver education, habitat use, migrations, periurban, warning signs