New signs to appear on our roads warning us to look out for small animals

 

The Department for Transport (DfT) have revealed their new road warning signs which they hope will help protect our smaller wildlife friends and also keep road users safe.

The new road signs show a black hedgehog on a white background within a red edged triangle and their intention is to alert motorists of the possibility that small animals such as the much loved hedgehog, could be on the road in that particular area.

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New road signs to appear on our roads warning us to look out for small animals. © Copyright Rose and Trev Clough and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

And whilst it’s our prickly friends who’ve been chosen to appear on the new signs, they represent all small wild animals such as squirrels, badgers and otters that also need protecting.

The hedgehog now joins a fine selection of other animals represented on road signs warning drivers to be careful including cows, sheep, deer, horses, ducks and toads.

The super cute hedgehog was chosen mainly because it’s been reported that their numbers have halved during the last two decades, with only around one million said to be wandering about.

The signs aren’t being introduced just to protect wildlife but also to keep road users safe. According to the DfT, 629 people were injured and four killed in accidents involving animals other than horses back in 2017.

Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, said the new signs would not only “help to reduce the number of people killed and injured” but would also help “our precious small wild mammal population to flourish.”

Mr Grayling has asked for local authorities to pinpoint wildlife and accident hotspots where these new signs should be installed.

The new warning signs have been welcomed by the Motorcycle Industry Association, as motorcyclists are especially vulnerable to accidents involving small animals.

The new road signs will hopefully protect our small wildlife friends and make the roads safer for drivers but there’s been no change when it comes to reporting an accident which involves an animal. A driver only needs to report an accident if they’ve hit a dog, horse, pig, goat, sheep, donkey, mule or cattle. If you run over a cat or some other small animal, you don’t need to report the incident.

 

 

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