Drivers urged to be deer aware

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With the clocks now turned back, commuters across East Dunbartonshire are being advised to look out for deer crossing local trunk roads.

The deer rutting season is at its peak and Scotland TranServ has identified the A82 between Renton and Alexandria, and the A82 between Dalnottar and Dumbarton as potential hotspots for deer strikes.

Isla Davidson, Scotland TranServ’s Senior Environmental Specialist, said: “Deer are often more mobile at two particular times each year.

“In May and June young deer disperse from breeding grounds to search for new territory of their own.

“Meanwhile, October and November is the rutting season for the larger deer species (red deer, fallow and sika), when adult males challenge each other for breeding rights.

“Deer are particularly active around sunrise and sunset which, at this time of year, coincides with the peak commuter time when there are likely to be more vehicles on the road.

“Their darker winter coats make deer particularly difficult to spot, so please be extra vigilant as they can appear without warning out of the fields and woodland that border much of the region’s road network.”

Figures on the number of DVCs (Deer-Vehicle-Collisions) collated from the National Deer-Vehicle Collisions project suggest that while it is safe to say 40,000 deer are killed in vehicle strikes every year, due to under-reporting this figure could be as high as 70,000 across Britain as a whole.

At the same time, conservative estimates of 400 injuries to vehicle passengers related to these collisions could well be nearer 1,000 annually.

Dr Jochen Langbein, who oversees the Deer Vehicle Collisions Project, added: “In Scotland, as in the rest of the UK and many other European countries, wild deer numbers have increased significantly over recent decades.

“Many people think most accidents with deer and vehicles occur on more remote Highland roads, but in Scotland at least 40 percent occur on A-class trunk roads or motorways.”

It is estimated that in Scotland there could be as many as 9,000 collisions per year, resulting in anywhere between 50 and 100 human injuries, with the total cost of material damage and injury thought to be around £9.5million.

Increasingly, roe deer are seen in large towns and cities, including Glasgow area.