Initiatives Aimed at Reducing Moose-Vehicle Collisions
The Provincial Government will invest approximately $5 million for a series of initiatives which is hoped will reduce the number of moose-vehicle collisions in Newfoundland and Labrador. This will include the launch of pilot projects involving wildlife fencing and wildlife detection systems, as well as the immediate enhancement of ongoing brush clearing and public awareness efforts. The Honourable Tom Hedderson, Minister of Transportation and Works, made the announcement today. Minister Hedderson was joined by the Honourable Ross Wiseman, Minister of Environment and Conservation.
“The initiatives announced today are aimed at reducing the number of moose-vehicle collisions in this province and it is important for us to understand what works well here, in our environment,” said Minister Hedderson. “Through real, on-the-ground examination of measures such as fencing and wildlife detection systems, we will build upon our existing body of knowledge, collecting valuable information to inform a long-term plan to deal with the serious issue of moose-vehicle collisions.”
Pilot projects will occur on separate sections of the Trans Canada Highway in different regions of the province and will comprise:
The locations of the pilot projects will be determined based on a review of existing moose-vehicle collision data. Tenders relating to the pilot projects will be issued within the next several weeks and the pilot projects will be activated by late summer or early fall.
Installation and monitoring of the projects will be done in consultation with experts from within government and the academic community locally, and in other jurisdictions.
The Department of Transportation and Works will also implement the new Collision Data Management System which will help record motor vehicle collision data, including moose-vehicle collisions, using Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates. This new system will capture the precise location of collisions on the province’s highways, as opposed to the former system, which captured the location of collisions by sections of road. This system will be integral to providing accurate information that is essential to the evaluation of the pilot projects.
These pilot projects announced today will build on previous actions by the Provincial Government to help address moose vehicle collisions. Earlier this year for example, the number of moose licences was increased by 5,020 along with a one-week extension to the hunting season on the island portion of the province. This extension is in addition to the three-week extension announced in 2010.
“Our government increased the number of hunting licences in the province by more than 5,000, with the majority focused along the Trans Canada Highway and major trunk roads, in an attempt to counteract the number of moose-vehicle incidents that are occurring,” said the Honourable Ross Wiseman, Minister of Environment and Conservation. “While we have steadily increased the number of moose licences for the past six years, this is the largest yearly increase to date, as we work toward trying to address the moose-vehicle accident rate in the province. These measures complement government’s initiatives announced today, which are aimed at reducing the number of moose on our highways.”
Brush clearing and vegetation control efforts are considered a best practice and since 2006, the Provincial Government has implemented an annual program to clear and treat the highway rights-of-way in Newfoundland and Labrador. This program will be enhanced immediately, through the addition of $1 million to its existing $2 million annual program.
- 30 -
Video of News Conference (WMV)
Director of Communications
Department of Transportation and Works
Director of Communications
Department of Environment and Conservation
Further Information on Provincial Government Initiatives
Aimed at Reducing Moose-Vehicle Collisions
Collision Data Management
• New motor vehicle collision reporting forms will be implemented with the CDMS. These new forms will allow the RCMP and RNC to report motor vehicle collisions in more detail than with the previous forms; these details will be entered into the CDMS and linked with GPS coordinates of the location at which the collision occurred.
• Pinpointing the exact locations of vehicle collisions using GPS coordinates will assist the undertaking of detailed assessments and analysis of collision sites. This will identify specific collision locations, including those involving moose.
Brush Clearing and Vegetation Control
• The Department of Transportation and Works currently engages in vegetation control on the Trans Canada Highway (TCH) and major trunk roads with higher traffic volumes and speeds one to two years after the right-of-way is cleared. Vegetation control, through the application of herbicide, prevents re-growth of alders and other brush and promotes natural grass growth. Herbicide application is effective for up to 10 years.
• To discourage moose from entering into the fenced section of the highway during the upcoming fencing pilot project, the Department of Transportation and Works will also install boulder fields at each end of the fenced region. This practice, known as bouldering, is currently utilized on the TCH in Banff National Park, Alberta.
Wildlife Detection Systems
• The Province of Ontario conducted a speed study in October 2010 to evaluate the effect of its wildlife detection system pilot project on driver speeds. When the warning system was activated, average speeds dropped by five per cent and compliance with the posted speed limit increased by 41 per cent.
• The Department of Government Services, Motor Registration Division, in consultation with the Department of Environment and Conservation, has recently undertaken an initiative to develop revised driver training curriculum which covers moose-vehicle collision awareness. This new material will be added to the Graduated Driver Licence Curriculum in the near future.
2011 07 06 10:45 a.m.