“Mind the moose.” How many times have you heard this said as someone is about to head out on the highways and byways of our province?
Do you drive with white knuckles, afraid that the next turn or ditch will produce a moose large enough to cause massive destruction to you and your vehicle?
A moose-vehicle collision is not something anyone goes looking for, but according to the Save Our People Action Committee (SOPAC) the average number of these incidents per day is two to three. They say in 2010 there were 783 collisions resulting in damages of over $1,000. According to the numbers they presented at a recent public meeting in Lewisporte, that is double the number of collisions in 2009.
Some people choose to stay off the Trans Canada Highway (TCH) and trunk roads after dark and during early morning hours to avoid those times when it’s hard to see moose. But like Eugene Nippard of SOPAC said, the Island can’t shut down at night. People have places they need to be for appointments, work and whatnot.
It was also noted that a moose accident can happen just as easily at 2 p.m. as it can at 2 a.m. When a moose comes up out of a ditch or through the brush, they are just there. There isn’t time to react in some instances. All you can do is keep your eyes on the road and scanning the ditches in the hope of glimpsing the moose before it ends up directly in your line of travel.