Can you see me, now? — Anne Ollila photo
Attempts to keep motorists from hitting animals usually center around making cars and roads safer, but the Finns are heading straight to the source
Every year, about 4,000 reindeer lose their lives on Finnish roads in car accidents, causing 15 million Euros of damage every year. And now, the Finnish Reindeer Herders Association is testing out a new way to make the large mammals more visible to drivers: reflective paint.
The idea is to spray the antlers of reindeer with reflective paint that reflects motorists’ headlights. “The aim is to prevent traffic accidents. The spray is being tested on fur at the moment, but it may be even more effective on the antlers, because they are seen from every side,” Anne Ollila, chairwoman of the Reindeer Herders Association, told the Finnish news source YLE…
I love the idea. When I still was on the road I had one regular circuit that had me driving from Montrose in SW Colorado – east to Gunnison to stay overnight. Driving right at dusk turning to night. On a stretch of highway that had the highest number of deer-car collisions in the lower 48.
Even though it was the twisty kind of elevation-changing road I loved – usually driving a car designed for sporty cornering – I learned to drive that stretch at or below the speed limit. Staying alive was a higher priority than a new point-to-point speed record.