Department of Highways, District 5
Highway Department Cautions Deer Are Roadway Hazards
LOUISVILLE, KY – (November 15, 2005) – Cool fall weather heralds beautiful fall color in the Commonwealth. It also marks deer mating season, with one or two standing at dusk along a busy interstate not an uncommon sight! This typical increase of deer movement means more deer crossing the roadways of all eight counties in District 5. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Department of Highways is joining with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife officials and the Kentucky State Police to warn motorists to be on the lookout for deer, especially during these last weeks of 2005.
"Nearly 3000 collisions with animals, including deer, occurred on Kentucky roads in 2004," said Barry Sanders, Chief District 5 Engineer, "with many more probably going unreported. The average deer/vehicle collision causes approximately $2,000 in damage. So it is important to use additional caution."
Accidents involving deer usually peak around mid-November and then trail off after December 15th. The Transportation Cabinet has placed “Deer Crossing” warning signs in areas where deer are known to commonly cross highways. The Interstate 71 corridor in District Five is one such area.
"It’s not unusual to pick up a dozen deer a day this time of year," said Andy Hall, Acting Foreman of the Oldham Co. Maintenance Crew, "and it is certainly one of our more unpleasant duties."
Please contact the local state highway garage or the district office if a dead deer on a highway or interstate is creating a traffic hazard. “Drive Smart” and be extra vigilant, because alive or dead, deer may show up in unexpected areas during this season due to pressures from hunters and farmers bringing in their harvests. In addition, the Transportation Cabinet urges motorists to protect themselves when driving by buckling their seatbelt and using child safety seats properly as historically most people injured or killed in a deer/auto collision were not properly restrained.
Additional driving tips include:
· “Drive Smart” during early morning and evening low-light hours when deer are most active.
· Use high beam headlights when possible so they will reflect in the eyes of the deer and provide more driver reaction time.
· Deer are unpredictable and “skittish” – do not expect them to stay where they are!
· It is generally safer to hit the deer rather than running off the road or risking a collision with another vehicle.
District 5 includes the counties of Bullitt, Franklin, Henry, Jefferson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer and Trimble. For more information on deer hazards, including maps of deer collisions by county, log on to http://www.kentuckystatepolice.org/. To report a pot hole or any other problem on a state maintained highway, call the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet toll-free at 1-800 PATCH IT or 1-800-728-2448. Dial 511 or log on to 511.ky.gov for the latest in statewide traffic and travel information in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.