Increasing number of accidents
Very sad to read that the number of accidents involving cars and animals is up by about 20% in the New Forest.
With darker evenings approaching, the problem might well get even worse.
A lot of different organisations are trying to reduce such accidents :
· Be ready to stop – ponies may step out even when they’ve seen you approaching
· Drive slowly, especially at night and when other cars are approaching with their headlights on
· Give animals grazing by the side of the road a wide berth
· Take extra care when there are animals on the verges on both sides of the road – they may cross to join their friends.
· Remember that deer easily jump the fences alongside roads like the A337, A31 and A35 and when there is one deer more will usually follow
· The faster you are going, the greater the damage will be to the animal, your car and your passengers – start your journey early so you don’t have to hurry.
Who is doing what?
National Park Authority
· Animal Emergency Hotline cards and car window stickers
· Articles in Park Life newsletter and local media coverage
· Developing signs with changing messages with the Highway Authority
Verderers and Agisters
· Temporary ‘animal accident here’ signs at the scene of accidents
· Reflective collars for ponies and donkeys provided free to commoners
· Hit and Run Reward Scheme (up to £1000 for information leading to a conviction)
Hampshire County Council
· Speed limit signs
· Trial Open Forest pinch points on Burley Road, Brockenhurst
· Changing signage on high risk routes
· Speed enforcement operations targeted at speed hot spots
New Forest District Council
· Electronic Speed Indicator Devices (SIDs), Speed Limit Reminder signs (SLRs) and Speed Data Recorders (SDRs).
· Open forest roadside scrub cut back by 10-15m on 4-year rotation
· Post and rail fencing at blind spots
Commoners Defence Association
· Encouragement to commoners to use the reflective collars