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Behind-the-Wheel

If you kill it, report it

About 5,762 wildlife collisions happen every year in B.C.

That's an 11-year average ending in 2017, according to the Wildlife Accident Reporting System, as reported by B.C.'s road maintenance contractors.

I suspect that this number is not the entire picture as some animals are able to struggle away from the collision scene and die unnoticed.

One estimate places this number at 12,000 annually.

The human cost is high as well. An average of four people die annually in crashes involving animals on B.C. highways.

Reported in 2019, ICBC says it sees about $41 million in claim costs annually in relation to motor-vehicle collisions involving animals.

November and May share the distinction of being the most likely month for you to run into wildlife on B.C.'s roads, literally.

Eighty per cent of wildlife collisions in this province involve deer and occur between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. However, moose, elk, bear and sheep are involved as well.

Deer whistles are useless. The animals have a narrower range of hearing than humans do, so if you can't hear it, they can't either.

Studies show that they have little or no impact on roadside animals and researchers suspect that if they did the startled animal has as much chance of moving onto the highway as they do away from it.

The BCSPCA advises that you should contact their cruelty hotline at 1-855-622-7722 or local animal control so that someone may be dispatched to assist the animal.

While the BCSPCA does not provide animal control services in all communities, their call centre operators have access to animal control agency numbers throughout B.C. and may be able to provide some assistance over the telephone.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure advises that the actions which can, and ideally should, be taken are set out in the Wildlife Collision Prevention Program website.

If you collide with and kill a wild or domestic animal, you can report this to DriveBC online as a non-emergency problem. They will notify the road maintenance contractor of the location and steps will be taken to remove the carcass on your behalf.

The Ministry of the Environment advises that it is a legal requirement to notify them of the killing or wounding of most larger wildlife.

The report may be made through the Conservation Officer Service's Report All Poachers and Polluters line at 1-877-952-7277.

Finally, the police are available at all times and may be available to assist you, particularly where the animal is injured and needs to be destroyed.

Story URL: https://www.drivesmartbc.ca/collisions/collision-animal-what-do

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About the Author

Tim Schewe is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. He has been writing his column for most of the 20 years of his service in the RCMP.

The column was 'The Beat Goes On' in Fort St. John, 'Traffic Tips' in the South Okanagan and now 'Behind the Wheel' on Vancouver Island and here on Castanet.net.

Schewe retired from the force in January of 2006, but the column has become a habit, and continues.

To comment, please email

To learn more, visit DriveSmartBC



The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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