IRD wildlife warning system implemented in Saskatchewan

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SASKATOON, Sask. — International Road Dynamics (IRD) and the province of Saskatchewan have teamed for a pilot project aimed at reducing vehicle/wildlife collisions.

The pilot project will see new technology implemented along five km of Hwy. 7 south of Harris — a stretch of road that has seen more than 20 major animal-vehicle collisions over the past five years.

The technology is designed to detect approaching vehicles, and warn animals to back off the road with the use of flashing lights and sounds. The sensors alternate the sounds and lighting used, so the animals don’t become accustomed to the signals and ignore them. The system is unique as it poses no physical barriers, allowing the animals to continue their normal migration patterns.

“I am confident the investment made by the department and (Saskatchewan Government Insurance) SGI will help develop a technology that works,” says Highways Minister, Mark Wartman.

SGI statistics indicate there were 11,775 reported wildlife/vehicle collisions last year alone, costing the auto fund $22.6 million in claims. That number is growing at a rate of more than $1 million per year.

The pilot project will run for two years, at which time it will be evaluated. If it is deemed worthwhile, it could be expanded throughout other regions of the province.

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