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Journeys : April May 2009
wallaby strike cost an average of $1675. Animals such as cows and horses result in an average repair bill of $3230, while hitting a possum results in an average claim of $1761. As you’d expect, evenings and early mornings are the two most common times for an incident involving wildlife. • 64% of incidents occur between 5pm and 12 midnight • 18% of all incidents occur between 4am and 8am “A collision with an animal is not just a matter of costly repairs to your vehicle,” Mr Sayers says. “There is also a personal safety issue – swerving suddenly to avoid an animal can result in a crash; and hitting a large animal can be as dangerous as a collision with another car.” Given the complaints of visitors to Tasmania about roadkill, the problem seems to be greater here than in many other parts of Australia, so motorists need to be mindful than when travelling at the peak danger times, they could suddenly be confronted around the next corner by a wallaby or possum in the middle of the road. Rising roadkill insurance claims T he last year has seen another increase in the incidence of insurance claims caused by animals. The figures supplied by RACT Insurance include both collisions with animals and crashes that occur when drivers swerve to avoid animals on the road. Calendar year 2008 saw 559 such claims, at an average repair cost of $1800, compared to 527 claims in 2007, at an average cost of $1717. Last year was the ninth year in a row that the number of claims has increased. RACT Insurance compiles the information each year to raise awareness among drivers of the dangers of wildlife on Tasmanian roads. The Derwent Valley and southern Central Highlands were the worst areas for animal-related car claims, followed by the Brighton/Southern Midlands area, the Meander Valley and Glamorgan/Spring Bay. Overwhelmingly, policy holders reported collisions with Bennetts wallabies and pademelons. Animal Wallabies and pademelons Wombats Possums Farm animals: cows, horses, sheep Deer Domestic animals: dogs, cats Unknown and miscellaneous South North 79% 82% 3% 3% 5% 4% 3% 1% 8% 4% 1% 1% 3% 3% North West Overall 86% 0% 0% 1% 0% 8% 3% 81% 3% 3% 1% 1% 6% 5% “We’re receiving reports from policy holders that wallaby populations are increasing, even quite close to city and town centres,” says Trent Sayers, Chief Executive of RACT Insurance. “A collision with a big wallaby can do a lot of damage to a vehicle, and motorists need to be alert to their presence on roads, especially in the pre-dawn and dusk light.” The larger the animal, the more the damage. Repairs after a Youth Portraiture Prize under way E Roadkill – reducing the impact Tasmania’s roadkill toll is estimated at 294,000 a year, including an estimated five per cent of the population of Tasmanian devils. The RACT will host a high-level meeting in April to discuss the implications of new research on the problem. The research, by CSIRO scientist Alistair Hobday, discusses new ways to reduce the enormous impact of roadkill on our wildlife and tourism industry. Dr Hobday’s research shows that 70 per cent of the roadkill occurs in ‘hotspots’ and suggests that targeted mitigation measures could lead to significant reductions in the roadkill toll. The meeting will feature a presentation by Dr Hobday as well as a screening of the 15 minute documentary Tasmania: Your Roadkill State. Representatives from the tourism industry, government, road safety authorities and environmental groups have been invited to attend. ntries are now open in the RACT Insurance Tasmanian Youth Portraiture Prize. Trent Sayers, Chief Executive of RACT Insurance, says he’s hoping to beat the 43 entries received for last year’s inaugural prize, which is open to Tasmanian artists aged 30 and under. If you know of a budding young artist, tell them to visit the website at www.typp.com.au. Entries close on 30 June and the winners will be announced on 4 September. April / May 09 9
June July 2009
June July 2008