New tool monitors wildlife-vehicle collisions

March 7, 2012

Bozeman, MT – Researchers at Montana State University have developed a handheld tool that transportation agencies can use to monitor and identify roadways with high levels of wildlife-vehicle collisions.

WVCs significantly impact driver safety and have increased nearly 50 percent in the past two decades, approximately totaling 2 million per year in the United States, according to a press release from the Department of Transportation’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration. The newly developed tool may allow for increased data collection and “cross-jurisdictional sharing” of collision data throughout the United States. This data could help jurisdictions place interventions such as signs, wildlife fencing, and bridges or other structures over common wildlife walkways, the press release said.

The tool is the latest in an initiative that began in 2005 to develop an easier way to collect data for the Roadkill Observation Collection System, which spatially displays WVC information through a mapped interface.