Try as we might to avoid mowing down furry critters, we inevitably fail and they inevitably die. At best, they’ll fall harmlessly under our wheels, but at worst, they’ll cause damage, a huge accident or even human casualties.
Fortunately, the DeerDeter system aims to keep these unfortunate collisions to a minimum with clever use of technology. Upon detecting light from your headlights, a series of roadside stakes equipped with light-sensitive pods and strobe lights emit the sound and glare animals associate with a predator, keeping the hedgehog, deer or whatever else wants to cross the road out of the road.
Once cars are have gone past an area equipped with DeerDeter, the sound and light show stops and Nibbles and Bambi are free to skip on over the asphalt. This on-off system, according to creator and Austrian technology company IPTE Schalk, should not affect the migratory habits of animals.
Obviously if you live in central London random deer crossing won’t prove much of an issue but in areas like Somerset or the New Forest, there’s a real risk you could be greeted by one of God’s creatures on your commute. In fact, hundreds of deaths and billion of pounds worth of damage is caused in this way so it’s an issue worth addressing.
It’s good to know, then, that during tests of 10,000 units in America and Europe, DeerDeter has decreased animal/vehicle collisions between 70 and 100 per cent.
It’s not yet clear how widely DeerDeter will be deployed across the UK, but it’s already making inroads. In 2010 Essex had a total of 417 units installed and it has apparently proven a cost-effective and safe way of saving money, lives and Benjamin Bunny.