Drivers urged to take extra care to protect animals on New Forest roads

Daily Echo: Drivers urged to take extra care to protect animals Drivers urged to take extra care to protect animals

DRIVERS are being urged to take extra care following the worst spate of animal accidents in the New Forest for several years.

The National Park Authority (NPA) has revealed that 21 collisions took place in the first two weeks of November.

Five animals were killed, four were injured and six escaped unhurt. The other six ran off and could not be found.

Animal accidents often rise sharply in November, mainly as a result of the bad weather and darker evenings.

But this year's spike is even worse than normal. The unusually high number of collisions compares with 18 in the same two weeks of last year and 12 in 2010.

Nigel Matthews, the NPA's community and visitor services manager, urged motorists to be more alert.

“It's important to drive at a sensible speed, give animals a wide berth and make sure you can stop if one steps into the road at the last minute,” he said.

“Ponies have no road sense, so it's up to the driver to slow down when necessary.”

Mr Matthews stressed that the consequences of a collision could be “catastrophic” not only for the animal but also for the driver, their passengers and the vehicle.

Sue Westwood, clerk to the Verderers, added: “This is the worst spate of animal accidents for a long time.

“We want to remind people once again to be more vigilant when driving through the Forest. If vehicles are coming towards them they should slow down and give themselves time to react if an animal steps out in front of their vehicle.”

Two of the recent collisions were hit-and-runs in which injured animals were left to suffer.

The Verderers offer a £1,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of a driver who fails to report an accident with a commoner's animal.

Comments (6)

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6:36pm Mon 19 Nov 12

sotonbev says...

Yeah, please take it easy when driving through the forest people, we are so lucky to have this on our door step and we have to be careful of the animals, its such a beautiful part of the World
Yeah, please take it easy when driving through the forest people, we are so lucky to have this on our door step and we have to be careful of the animals, its such a beautiful part of the World sotonbev

7:03pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Turtlebay says...

So why oh why when I report offenders (often women or middle aged men, in BMWs) who rocket past me on the New Forest roads, is nothing ever done about it? I give the number plate, time and location, but what's the point?
So why oh why when I report offenders (often women or middle aged men, in BMWs) who rocket past me on the New Forest roads, is nothing ever done about it? I give the number plate, time and location, but what's the point? Turtlebay

7:04pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Turtlebay says...

Hopefully the new PCCs will do something about lazy policemen?
Hopefully the new PCCs will do something about lazy policemen? Turtlebay

8:23pm Mon 19 Nov 12

geoff51 says...

And then you get some idiot writing to the letterbox wingeing that the verderers sent him a bill and told him off for killing a pony, then moaning about his insurance costs.
I personally in some circumstances prosecute the driver for dangerous driving if an animal is killed by their stupidity.
The New forest is a wonderful place and should be protected from speeding idiots and wheeled offroading drivers and cyclists
And then you get some idiot writing to the letterbox wingeing that the verderers sent him a bill and told him off for killing a pony, then moaning about his insurance costs. I personally in some circumstances prosecute the driver for dangerous driving if an animal is killed by their stupidity. The New forest is a wonderful place and should be protected from speeding idiots and wheeled offroading drivers and cyclists geoff51

11:06pm Mon 19 Nov 12

sparkster says...

Here here i would rather be late getting somewhere than take the life of an animal, its common sense when driving through the New Forest it is known for ponies, its not a speed track so I urge people toplease take it easy through the New Forest
Here here i would rather be late getting somewhere than take the life of an animal, its common sense when driving through the New Forest it is known for ponies, its not a speed track so I urge people toplease take it easy through the New Forest sparkster

7:13pm Thu 22 Nov 12

OKANAGAN 1 says...

The Ponies that are on the Forest belong to someone, even though of you may think differently. Commoners are the people that own the ponies, donkeys ,pigs etc. that are on the Forest.
PLEASE, slow down so that the Agisters don't have to deal with the aftermath of your stupidity.
The Ponies that are on the Forest belong to someone, even though of you may think differently. Commoners are the people that own the ponies, donkeys ,pigs etc. that are on the Forest. PLEASE, slow down so that the Agisters don't have to deal with the aftermath of your stupidity. OKANAGAN 1

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