What’s the plan for moose?

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This summer I have had the pleasure of travelling around our great province. As I drove from place to place, there was always something that I was looking out for and was cautious of, and that’s moose.

Our province has the highest moose density rate in North America and the provincial government has done little to curb this problem — a public safety issue.

In 2011, the government installed two moose-detector systems as part of a two-year pilot project that has an estimated cost of $1.5 million.

The sensors are supposed to trigger warning lights if they detect moose, but at the Grand Falls-Windsor and Salmonier Line sites, the detectors have been plagued with maintenance issues, resulting in lengthy downtimes. It’s alarming that we have detectors that don’t function as they should and they provide a false sense of security for motorists.

In June, I questioned the minister on the status of the report for the two-year pilot project and I couldn’t get any answers surrounding when the report would be released and the costs for repairs and maintenance of the two sensors. It’s completely unacceptable that the government is keeping the people of this province in the dark about such a serious issue.

We have a very high moose population and accidents associated with the animals are on the rise. On average, there are 700 moose-vehicle collisions a year.

That’s 700 too many.

Every year many people are injured or killed on our highways due to moose-vehicle accidents and this year alone there have been two fatalities.

The government is not taking this issue seriously and it’s extremely concerning, especially during this time of year when so many people are travelling across the province.

We need workable answers to this issue, quickly.

The government needs to find new and reliable alternatives to the sensors, as the lives of motorists are at stake. Other alternatives, such as fencing and extensive brush clearing, have proven to be effective.

New Brunswick has installed hundreds of kilometres of wildlife fences along the highway, which has proven to be effective.

I am calling on the provincial government to explore options that could be more effective, safer and more reliable for motorists, as the safety of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians should be the government’s No. 1 priority.

Paul Lane

MHA for Mount Pearl South

Geographic location: North America, New Brunswick, Mount Pearl South

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Recent comments

  • Too Funny
    August 11, 2014 - 13:47

    Let's start with Paul telling us what he did about it when he was in a position to do something about it. Maybe he was too busy with the polls.

  • Dolf
    August 11, 2014 - 11:47

    A cull is long overdue. Nobody in the present government would recognize a cull if it hit 'em amongst the eyes.

  • Pat
    August 10, 2014 - 11:55

    Right on Mr. Lane-thank you for writing this! Does it take more injuries and deaths for people to speak up about this? We have the right to safe driving. Moose are not just crawling out of ditches and you'll see them if you drive slow-no. They can RUN out of woods roads and paths-day or night! Please write your MHAs to speak out for all our road safety from these menaces on our roads. And politicians, you are elected to defend the safety of NL people on our roadways-let's see progress on this menace,nuisance on our roads-not just talk! Cows, horses, dogs are not aloud to roam our roads-government get your moose OFF our roads-you brought them here and you hold the ownership of this problem!!

  • Cyril Rogers
    August 09, 2014 - 11:50

    Well, for starters, Mr. Lane, it begins with establishing a standard for road building and brush cutting. The cutting back of brush at least another 50-100 feet on both sides of the highway will prove to be a visual deterrent to moose accidents…..provided it is done properly. This means doing far more than the present method that is scarring the roadside….. only to return with a vengeance within a few years. I don't know the actual cost of these methods but, like so much that governments do, it is throwing good money away in order to be seen to be "doing something". There needs to be a widening of these areas, an effort to properly landscape the roadsides, and plant grass that can be cut with mowing equipment. The fences would be erred in those areas where the terrain is difficult to landscape and seed. Doing these two things alone would greatly reduce the number and frequency of accidental collisions with moose.