by Shaun Milne
SCOTS drivers are involved in a startling 10,000 accidents a year – with deer.
The problem is so bad the Deer Commission for Scotland has just issued a red alert ahead of the clocks going back next week.
They say this is the most dangerous time for motorists and deer –and have even published a list of black spots to watch out for.
Special electronic signs have been erected alongside roads including the A82 Glasgow – Inverness route, A9 taking in Inverness and Perth, the A835 Inverness to Ullapool road and A87 starting at Invergarry.
The fortnight long campaign will carry the message: “High risk of deer on the road” after at least three people were killed in deer related accidents in the previous 12 months.
A further 70 people were badly injured and it was thought the accidents cost around £5 million to the Scottish economy.
Jamie Hammond, deer officer for the Deer Commission for Scotland, said: “Accidents are particularly high now, because dusk and the peak commuting times coincide.
“Deer are more likely to be feeding near or on road verges at this time.
“We urge motorists to slow down and watch for deer crossing in front of traffic.”
The Commission said some 70 per cent of all accidents actually happened on trunk roads and motorways as opposed to rural routes.
Last month a new initiative called Deer Aware was also launched with organisers claiming as many as 74,000 deer related road accidents take place across the UK every year.
Since 2003 a group called the UK National Deer-Vehicle Collision Project have been looking at ways to alter migration patterns to cut accidents.
They estimate Britain has around 1.5 million head of deer across six main species.