Wildlife on roads

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A temporary sign warning motorists of the presence of deer in the Municipality of Pontiac is expected to become a permanent fixture along the roadway. Photo credit: Bonnie James

MTQ warns drivers of wildlife on roadways

Taylor Clark
Local Journalism Initiative

 MUNICIPALITY OF PONTIAC – An early spring means large animals will be seen along road networks earlier. Consequently, the Ministère des Transports et de la Mobilité durable du Quebec (MTQ) is warning motorists to remain vigilant while travelling.

 Between 2020 and 2022, an average of 6,951 road accidents involving large wildlife occurred annually in Quebec. White-tailed deer were mostly responsible, followed by moose, caribou, and black bear. With the abundance of deer in the Municipality of Pontiac, a temporary sign has been installed on Hwy 148 between Luskville and Quyon to warn drivers.

 Marie-Josée Audet, MTQ’s Outaouais communications advisor, said the department analyzed the possibility of installing anti-deer fencing along Highway 148, but determined the number of intersections and residential and commercial accesses would make the installation “completely ineffective.”

 However, new infrastructure – a permanent sign with flashing lights – is on the way and will be installed on the highway between Luskville and Quyon to alert motorists of the presence of animals and encourage them to slow down.

 Despite preventative measures, Audet said the risk of collisions remains high: “There’s no universal solution to reduce the number of collisions with wildlife. Impact measures all have advantages and disadvantages … The best protection against this type of accident remains the vigilance of drivers.”

 The MTQ says the most dangerous times are at dawn and dusk. When spotting deer along roadways, the MTQ advises drivers to slow down immediately as deer are nervous and unpredictable animals and to break repeatedly to alert other drivers.

 Dangerous or unusual situations along roadways can be reported by dialing 511.