Transportation Department Has Radar Love for Deer

Technology could help vehicle drivers avoid collisions with deer and wildlife if an ongoing trial proves beneficial.

The Idaho Transportation Department is using a Doppler radar system on 25-foot poles along a section of highway in Boundary County. The radar system is connected to flashing warning lights that alert motorists to slow down if deer or big game animals are near the road within the radar’s range.

The transportation department said animal-vehicle collisions cost the state approximately $20 million in 2015. According to the Coeur d’Alene Press, that was to pay for vehicle repair costs, human injuries and fatalities, towing, investigation, and the disposal of animal carcasses.

“It’s another tool in the toolbox,” said Reed Hollinshead, ITD public information specialist. “There is no guarantee that this system will be used, but it’s another tool we are investigating. We understand that vehicle-wildlife conflicts are definitely a concern, particularly in a rural state like ours.”

Idaho also uses highway underpasses to help animals avoid going over the roads.

The video above shows how the radar system works to help drivers avoid deer.


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