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Local News

November a Dangerous Month for Oregon Wildlife Crashes


Oregon State Police report that the wildlife migration season can be dangerous for drivers.  On average, 142 wildlife crashes happen in Oregon in November, and the trends show the numbers increasing.
 
Oregon Department of Transportation's Peter Murphy says paying attention while you're driving can go a long way.  He was a recent guest on 1110 KBND's morning news.
 
"yes, we are in this period of time where there's a lot of activity going on- wildlife- people life - we're used to school but still - so drive the environment - be aware of what's going on - and take care of your car."
 
O-DOT's number show wildlife crashes increase each year from 2007 through last year.  In 2011, a total of almost 12 hundred wlidlife crashes were reported and of those, 17 were fatal crashes.  State Officials also believe many minor accidents between vehicles and wildlife go unreported.  The data also shows that some of the more common spots for wildlife crashes are along highway 97 and highway 31 south of Bend and near La Pine.
 
Transportation officials recently installed a wildlife undercrossing in one hot spot, and Murphy says so far it seems to be working.
 
"this is the migration season - so we do experience more wildlife in the area - just a side note we have had no injuries and no crashes due to wildlife where that undercrossing is - so we've really changed the pattern down there."
 
Cameras at teh undercrossing near Lava Butte show deer, elk and coyotes using the new paths and avoiding thte highway.
 
State Farm Insurance also reports that car and deer crashes nationally are the highest in November and the trend shows them also on the rise.
 

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