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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 April, 2004, 10:13 GMT 11:13 UK
Study aims to cut deer collisions
A deer
Motorists often swerve to avoid hitting deer such as this Muntjac
Conservationists are trying to raise awareness as they conduct a study into crashes caused by deer crossing roads.

The Deer Collisions Project is focusing on hotspots such as Thetford Forest on the Norfolk/Suffolk border and Epping Forest in Essex.

Dave Hooton, a deer liaison officer for East Anglia, said 54 people were hurt and 10 killed in accidents involving deer in the region last year.

He recommends that drivers not take extreme measures to avoid the animals.

Mr Hooton said: "It's frightening really, because a lot of these are avoiding accidents as well; the driver avoids the deer and goes off the road.

'Brake... if you can'

"These things do happen instantly, and the only advice we can give is that you do not swerve.

"Brake if you can brake, but if it means hitting the animal, then unfortunately, that's what you have to do."

Mr Hooton said reflective surfaces have already been installed to shine light back into woodlands in areas where deer are known to cross.

The Deer Collisions Initiative will use computer modelling and mapping to best determine how to protect both drivers and deer.

Speed limit to save deers
24 Jul 03  |  Staffordshire
Man killed as deer hits car
17 Jun 03  |  Somerset
Deer 'pose risk' to drivers
22 Apr 02  |  Scotland

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