Editorial: Slow down and stop the animal slaughter on our roads

You should slow the heck down for your own safety, anyway.

The ongoing slaughter is terrible. And almost entirely preventable.

Black Press received two letters from two different people in Shawnigan Lake the week before last, about two separate fatal car accidents.

No, there weren’t any humans killed. But these separate crashes were fatal for two deer, and it’s likely that at least two more were collateral damage. How so? Both of the deer in question had just given birth to babies, babies that will likely not survive on their own. It’s a sad, senseless waste. In both cases, the cars that struck these mother deer sped away, leaving their injured victims behind in their wake for more compassionate folks to try to ease their pain and fear at the end.

This week, two bear cubs had to be rescued from the scene of an accident near Revelstoke, after a driver stuck and killed their mother.

We bet these three specific incidents are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to these kinds of road deaths.

Accidents happen, of course. Sometimes a deer can bound out in front of an automobile and the driver has no chance to stop. But a driver certainly has more of a chance to stop if they’re not travelling way above the speed limit in lighting conditions (early morning, dusk) that should have them slowing down. You should slow down at these times of day in particular because they are times when you are more likely to encounter animals on the roads. And yet not enough people are.

There are a sick few who take delight in speeding up and aiming for nature’s wild creatures trying to cross the road (it’s despicable, and one worries about their mental health), but we believe that most people would like to avoid killing something on their commute.

You should slow the heck down for your own safety, anyway. Studies have shown that people who speed don’t actually get to their destination appreciably faster than those who don’t, so the risk is hardly worth it since there’s no reward. So take a deep breath, ease off the accelerator, and know that you have a much better chance to see wildlife in your path, and to stop when you do.

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