Angus motorists urged to watch out for deer on roads

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Motorists in Brechin and across Angus have been urged to keep an eye out for deer on the roads during May.

The Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has warned motorists to slow down and be aware of deers to help avoid accidents.

Vehicle accidents involving deer peak at this time of year, as yearling animals disperse, looking for their own territories. Because of this, the SNH, in conjunction with Transport Scotland, have been placing warning messages on variable messaging signs on high-risk trunk roads across Scotland since Monday, April 29, until Friday, May 31.

The signs warn motorists of the high risk of deer on road.

The most recent deer-vehicle collisions research shows there are more than 7,000 collisions between motor vehicles and deer every year in Scotland, with an average of 65 of these resulting in human injuries.

The combined economic value of these accidents, through human injuries and significant damage to vehicles is £7 million. Across the UK, it is estimated there are between 42,000 and 74,000 deer-vehicle related accidents a year, resulting in 400 to 700 human injuries and about 15 deaths, with an annual cost £47 million.

The Deer Vehicle Collisions Project reports that the road sections with highest recent accident rates at this time of year include the A9 (Dunblane to Perth; Bankfoot to Pitlochry); A85 (Methven to Perth); and A90 (Dundee to Brechin; Stonehaven to Aberdeen).

Dr Jochen Langbein of the Deer Initiative, said: “The fact that only around one-fifth of all UK deer-vehicle collisions occur in Scotland doesn’t mean the risk to drivers here is any lower. On the contrary, the risk of deer collisions per driven mile is actually greater in Scotland, as total traffic volumes in England are nine times higher than in Scotland.”

Sinclair Coghill, SNH wildlife management officer, said: “We should all be aware of the risk of deer on the road when we’re driving. We’d ask motorists to slow down and watch for deer crossing in front of traffic.

“Be particularly alert if you’re driving near woods where deer can suddenly appear before you have time to brake. If you hit a deer, report it to the police, as the deer may be fatally injured and suffering.”