Recent Department of Transport figures indicate that 629 people were injured in accidents involving an animal in the road. The figure excludes horses. Four people were killed. Figures show that 100 people died between 2005 and 2017. The Right Honourable Chris Grayling MP who is currently Transport Secretary (having tried his hand at a few other roles) has unveiled a new traffic sign featuring a hedgehog. This is due to be placed in areas with high accident rates. He is calling upon local authorities and animal welfare groups to identify local hotspots.
The government seem confident that the new sign will protect vulnerable road users, especially motorcyclists and also help small wild mammals to flourish.
A two year action plan is to be published and motorists will be warned in areas where squirrels badgers otters and hedgehogs together with other small animals are prevalent.
WILL THIS RADICAL SOLUTION SOLVE THE PROBLEM?
Surprisingly when a certain Dr Doolittle had a word with some of the local wildlife they thought that their declining numbers had something to do with poorly lit roads, drivers travelling far too quickly for the conditions on winding country lanes and a lack of police numbers to deal with drink and drug driving. One hedgehog identified a total lack of responsibility in the population and in generally the penalties and sentencing for animal cruelty offences which he believed were far too light. As for the sign this particular prickly character saw no reason why it should not be ignored just as readily as the speed limits.
As he had poor eyesight he was unable to identity of the hedgehog on the sign but he thought her really quite attractive! He hoped other hedgehogs would not be distracted by her good looks and be run over because they were not looking out for oncoming speeding drivers looking at their satnav devices rather than at the road ahead.
This blog was written by: Stephen Fox
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