Invitation to slow down in forested areas following deadly moose crash

Take note – story published 5 years ago

During the Midsummer festival, a young girl and a woman were killed in a car crash after a moose stepped on the road. This makes one pose the question as to when Latvian drivers and wild animals will finally be protected with motorway fences or other means, reports LTV.

As can be observed in this LTV video, wild animals including the deer above and moose in particular often assume a peculiar behavior when confronted with moving vehicles.

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The head of Rīga Zoo Ingmārs Līdaka stresses that moose are very dangerous on the roads. They are big and heavy but also indecisive. Meanwhile deer and wild boar on the roads may be followed by other individuals of the sames species.

The number of road crashes involving wild animals is growing steadily, according to the KASKO comprehensive insurance statistics.

In 2015, there were 2,270 crashes, while there were 2,690 in 2016 and 2,600 last year. In the first months of 2018, there have been 1,200 road accidents involving wild animals.

The volume of compensations paid has grown accordingly. 

Most of the accidents take place in forested areas, including the A10 motorway near the Usmas forests, as well as Kalnciema forests on the A9 motorway, as well as the forests in southern Latvia. 

Nevertheless it's impossible to fence off all the motorways, though the Latvian road maintenance company plans to build a 11-km fence by the Ķekava bypass near Rīga. The main priority is keeping cyclists and pedestrians safe, says the state road company, Latvijas Valsts ceļi.

For the time being, Normunds Krapsis, the head of the Road Traffic Safety Directorate, simply invites drivers to slow down to about 80 km/h when driving through forested areas. 

The design for the upcoming Rail Baltica high-speed railway does feature fences and animal tunnels, however.  

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