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Journeys : Aug Sep 2010
Wildlife signs survey In the May edition of Motor News Journeys we asked readers to respond to a sur vey to help improve wildlife war ning signage and find out about drivers' perceptions of roadkill in Tasmania. The sur vey is part of a project to test the effectiveness of wildlife war ning signs on Tasmanian roads. The Department of Infrastr ucture, Energy and Resources will be sur veying levels of roadkill at several unmarked roadkill black-spots over the next few months. When this infor mation has been recorded, new roadkill signs will be trialed at some of these sites, to determine whether the signs are effective at reducing roadkill. 88 people responded to the sur vey, which yielded some interesting results. The sur vey participants indicated that roadkill was an important issue in Tasmania, and 90 per cent of respondents rated Tasmania's wildlife as extremely important. 75 per cent of respondents thought that slowing down at roadkill black-spots would be effective in reducing roadkill. Participants were asked to compare four different wildlife warning sign s. Two of these signs are cur rently in use on Tasmanian roads, and two were new designs. One of the existing signs used in the sur vey shows a kangaroo colliding with a car and the other a profile of a Tasmanian devil. The new designs show a friendlier devil, face-on, and a wallaby with a joey in its pouch. Respondents rated the likely effectiveness of the two new designs higher than the two designs cur rently used in Tasmania. The kangaroo hitting a car sign provoked the most comment, many people describing it as the 'weight-lifting kangaroo'. This sign is clearly well-recognised, and some drivers noted that showing the impact of an animal hitting a car was effective. However, most found it funny or silly, and rated it lower than all the other sign s for meaning, recognition, emotional response and the likelihood that it would encourage them to reduce speed. Of the other designs, Tasmanian devils were thought to be a good choice to encourage drivers to slow down. Most respondents prefer red the face-on devil design, commenting that the cur rent profile makes the animal look too aggressive. The wallaby and joey sign scored well for recognition and emotional response, but some commented that 'sadly, many people do not see wallabies as worth saving.' Overall, the face-on image of the Tasm anian devil was thought to be the most effective of the signs in the sur vey. Many respondents thought that while signs might be effective for them, as people who care about wildlife, they would be less effective for other drivers such as local drivers who know the roads well, foreign tourists, tr uck drivers, and of course, hoons. Some proposed other mechanisms for reducing roadkill, including the use of whistles or reflectors. Several people noted that there are currently so many wildlife war ning signs that people learn to ignore them. Some suggested m aking the new signs stand out by using flashing lights, or m aking the speed limit mandatory, rather than recommended. Television advertisements and stories in the media were indicated as the best ways to communicate with the public about preventing roadkill, and several respondents commented that a public infor mation campaign would be needed to back up the new signage. Thank you to everyone who participated in the sur vey -- we'll report further updates on the project. To find out more about reducing roadkill and to download GPS co-ordinates of roadkill black spots for your in-car navigation system, visit w w w.roadkilltas.com RACT members for half a century Jan Isaac and Ian Braid were two of the 16 long-standing North West members who were presented with commemorative plaques to thank them for 50 years of R ACT membership. The plaques were presented to our loyal members at a special function in Burnie in May by Group Chief Executive Greg Goodman and Club President Roger Locke. In our community August / September 2010 6
RACT MNJ June July 2010
Oct Nov 2010