Friday 28 June 2019

Hedgehogs ahead! New sign warns drivers of animals on roads

Launch welcomed by nature and motoring groups hoping to cut deaths and accidents
Tue 18 Jun 2019 00.23 BSTLast modified on Tue 18 Jun 2019 07.15 BST
After decades of being killed on the road in huge numbers, hedgehogs are finally to get their own road sign warning drivers to watch out for them.
The new signs bearing the silhouette of the animal in a red triangle will be placed in areas where the accident risk is highest and will also be used to warn about squirrels, badgers, otters and other small animals crossing.
Ministers announced the proposed new signage on Monday as part of a scheme to reduce the number of animal road deaths and the number of accidents caused by people swerving to avoid animals or motorcyclists skidding on roadkill.
The new road sign to improve road safety and protect hedgehogs. Photograph: Department for Transport
Hedgehog numbers have fallen by more than half in the UK countryside since 2000, with roads a particular hazard for the mammals because they curl up into a ball in the face of danger.
The signs are the first featuring a new animal in a quarter of a century: they join those warning motorists about large animals, such as deer, cows, sheep and horses, and the smaller ones, such as migratory toads and wildfowl.
“We have some of the safest roads in the world but we are always looking at how we can make them safer. Motorcyclists and other vulnerable road users are particularly at risk,” the transport secretary, Chris Grayling, told Monday’s launch.

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