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A75 drivers on deer alert

Section:  Annan and Eskdale, Dumfries and West, Lockerbie and Lochmaben, Moffat  | Tags: ,

STRETCHES of the A75 have been identified as a deer hotspot, with drivers warned to take care for the wildlife.



Wooded parts of the road, along with the A701 Beattock to St Ann’s stretch, have both been highlighted by Scotland TranServ as a top area for deer strikes.

And officials are warning the area’s motorists that the animals could wander onto the trunk road.

Senior environmental specialist Isla Davidson said: “October and November is the rutting season for the larger deer species (red deer, fallow and sika), when adult males challenge each other for breeding rights.

“Deer are particularly active around sunrise and sunset which, at this time of year, coincides with the peak commuter time when there are likely to be more vehicles on the road.

“Their darker winter coats make deer particularly difficult to spot, so please be extra vigilant as they can appear without warning out of the fields and woodland.”

There are an estimated 700,000 wild deer in Scotland, mainly of the native red and roe varieties.

And the experts also revealed that increasingly roes are becoming established within urban areas, prevailing in large towns and cities, including Dumfries.

It is estimated there are at least 9000 deer strikes in Scotland every year, resulting in up to 100 people also getting hurt.

Dr Jochen Langbein, who oversees the Deer Vehicle Collisions Project, added: “Many people think most accidents with deer and vehicles occur on more remote Highland roads, but in Scotland at least 40 per cent occur on A-class trunk roads or motorways, including across much of South West Scotland’s road network.”

Advice to drivers locally is to:

* Be extra vigilant where you see ‘deer’ or ‘wild animal’ road signs
* Dip headlights if you see a deer, otherwise it may freeze in your path
* Don’t over-react or swerve excessively
* If you do hit a deer, try to stop somewhere safe
* Report the accident to the police – they’ll contact the correct authorities who can help the injured deer.


NEWSDESK: 01461-202417

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