Canberra named animal collision capital for second year in a row

Glynis Quinlan 12 May 2018 20

The main animals that drivers collide with on ACT roads. A still from a video which was supplied.

For the second year running, Canberra has been named the animal collision capital of Australia – recording more collisions between motorists and animals than any other Australian capital city.

According to the latest data from car insurer AAMI, almost one in 10 motor accidents in Canberra are caused by collisions with animals.

Goulburn is the nation’s second-highest animal collision hotspot, followed by Sunbury in Victoria and then Cooma and Dubbo in NSW.

Canberra’s CBD is the top animal collision hotspot in the ACT, followed by Hume, Kambah, Belconnen and Tharwa.

Perhaps not surprisingly, kangaroos were involved in the vast majority of collisions – 92 per cent.

Wombats were involved in two per cent of collisions, dogs in one per cent of collisions and the remaining five per cent of collisions involve other animals such as deer, foxes, wallabies and horses.

The data is based on an analysis by AAMI of 9,000 accident insurance claims across Australia over the past 12 months, with research showing there is a peak in animal collisions as winter sets in.

AAMI spokesperson Ashleigh Paterson said that it’s important for drivers to be extra vigilant at this time of year.

“As the days shorten, motorists are sharing the road with animals for longer periods of time as they are most active during dawn or dusk,” Ms Paterson said.

“Wildlife is unpredictable, so we encourage drivers to always expect the unexpected on the road, particularly in signposted wildlife areas.

“Simple things like being aware of your surroundings, driving to the speed limits, and being extra vigilant at dawn and dusk can help keep you and our wildlife safe.”

ACT Wildlife vice-president Martin Lind said that the AAMI data is really only the tip of the iceberg in terms of animal carnage in the ACT, with the figures not including incidents where no damage is done to cars.

“There’s a whole flurry of animals that bounce off cars that don’t ever get reported in the ACT,” Mr Lind said.

He said that motorists “just mow down” cockatoos and galahs, with other animals or birds which are often killed or injured on ACT roads including turtles, magpies, lizards, possums and red-necked wallabies.

“There is a cavalier attitude to anything that gets on our roads in the ACT.

“I’ve witnessed drivers not even slowing down or stopping.”

Mr Lind advised drivers to follow the three rules of “brain on, eyes open, slow down”.

ACT Wildlife president Marg Peachey advised drivers to keep a spare blanket or box in the car in case they encounter an orphaned joey or injured bird.

“Keeping an animal warm, but not hot, can reduce stress and shock to the animal,” Ms Peachy said.

“If possible take the animal to a wildlife carer, but in all cases, if you are unsure of what to do, give us a call for advice.”

You can contact ACT Wildlife on 0432 300 033 or click here to go to the website.

Do you think motorists take enough care on Canberra’s roads? Are you concerned that some motorists are driving over animals without stopping? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Below is a video about animal collisions in Canberra produced by AAMI.

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20 Responses to Canberra named animal collision capital for second year in a row
Lauren Crawford Lauren Crawford 9:50 pm 30 May 19

Andrew Crawford 1 in 17 months 🦘

Amy Brompton Amy Brompton 2:23 pm 16 May 18

I don't know if it's the drivers being cavalier or just unaware but I drive down unlit roads to get home, where there are often kangaroos on the road (and dead on the side), and there are always people speeding or tailgating. It's not a surprise they can't avoid hitting them.

Christian Greten Christian Greten 6:33 pm 15 May 18

The government needs to provide more traffic education to the kangaroos.

David Lindsay David Lindsay 8:13 pm 14 May 18

Cavalier motorists? I thought they were too busy trying to mow down cyclists...

    Damien Swifte Damien Swifte 8:49 pm 14 May 18

    I think Kangaroos should pay rego if they want to use roads.

    David Lindsay David Lindsay 8:53 pm 14 May 18

    Damien Swifte and insurance.

Leigh Thwaite Leigh Thwaite 4:46 pm 14 May 18

Good to be a panel beater in Canberra I’d say

Pippa Campbell Pippa Campbell 2:51 pm 14 May 18

There's just so many more animals living in close proximity to suburbs and centres here - I lived in Perth for 15 years and never saw kangaroos closer than a half hour drive away from the outer suburbs. Here I see hundreds of kangaroos per week two minutes from my house. Drivers need to be more informed, and fencing needs to be improved, but ultimately where there are more animals there are going to be more accidents!

Steve Dundee Steve Dundee 7:04 am 14 May 18

More of that great high fencing along our roads where wildlife are will make a huge positive difference

    Lin Van Oevelen Lin Van Oevelen 7:36 am 14 May 18

    Those fences are fantastic. Makes it a lot less stressful to drive on those roads when it's dark.

    But I do always wonder how it changes the kangaroos lives. Do they ever find themselves cut off from food or water because of them? And when they just put them up, are mobs separated involuntarily? I'd love to know the experts' observations on that.

    Steve Dundee Steve Dundee 3:43 pm 14 May 18

    Lin Van Oevelen great question

Steve Ulr Steve Ulr 6:12 am 14 May 18

I think its sad, however this will always be driven by the amount of rain we have in the region. Kangaroos will always start to move closer to urban areas as the feed literally dries up. We have the slowest speeds of any capital I would suggest (50km/hr zones unless otherwise indicated, 40km/h in shopping areas, 40km/h zones is school areas ALL day etc.).

    Annalise Webb Annalise Webb 6:27 am 14 May 18

    I lived in the most populated roo rural area for over 20 years and never hit one - vigilant driving and shu roos help.

    Jeanette Kuoni Jeanette Kuoni 5:30 pm 14 May 18

    Agree. I spent years driving thru NT. Saw hundreds of animals driving on dusk but never hit any as drove to conditions and slowed down. Have now been in Bungendore 5 yrs and again avoid hitting anything. It is a matter of better attitudes of drivers. Driving is a privilege not a right.

Stephen Page-Murray Stephen Page-Murray 9:58 pm 13 May 18

Kangaroo central.

Liz Cusack Liz Cusack 9:25 pm 13 May 18

Well we are the BUSH capital so of course we are bound to have more vehicle vs wildlife incidents.....doesnt help that developers are taking their homes so they venture into suburbia looking for food 😓

Eileen Wise Eileen Wise 9:23 pm 13 May 18

Distressing.....poor birds, kangaroos and wombats

Alice Leda Petaros Alice Leda Petaros 8:44 pm 13 May 18

More fencing is needed. The kangaroos suffer terribly. There is a careless attitude amongst some people that there are so many kangaroos that a few injured or dead animals dont matter.

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