The Sudbury detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police and the Ministry of Transportation would like to remind motorists of the possibility of encountering wildlife along roadways.
Since Jan. 1, the Sudbury/Espanola detachments of the OPP have responded to 16 motor vehicle collisions involving wildlife, police said in a weekend news release.
“Police urge motorists to monitor their speed, particularly at night, avoid over driving the illumination of their headlights and scan the highway ahead as far as possible, with special attention to the road side,” the release said. “Animals can bound out onto the highways unexpectedly, and if you see an animal, slow down and be prepared to stop.”
The OPP recommend the following precautions to avoid collisions with animals:
-- Watch for the yellow wildlife warning signs that indicate an area of increased risk and slow down when travelling through these areas.
-- Do not overdrive your headlights, as this will allow you an opportunity to see an animal and stop in time to avoid hitting it.
-- Use high beams at night, where possible, and watch for the glowing eyes of animals. If you see this, slow down until you have safely passed the animal and be on the lookout for a second animal, as they often travel in pairs or groups.
-- Do not drive while distracted by phones or other activities. Keep your eyes on the road. Just drive.
“The higher the speed, the more severe the impact,” the release said. “Even a small reduction in speed can make a big difference in a driver’s ability to avoid a collision.”
The OPP is also encouraging drivers to use MTO's Ontario 511 Traveller Information Services, which provides easy access to up-to-date information on road conditions and road closures on provincially maintained roads.
Ontario 511 also provides voice-activated, hands-free service.
“Drivers are expected to observe Ontario cellphone laws when using Ontario 511 while on the road,” the release said. “(They) are encouraged to pull over to a safe location when using your cellphone to make it as safe as possible.”