Hit-and-run attacks on animals

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 2, 2003

According to the magazine &uot;Animal Issues&uot; as many as one million animals get hit by motor vehicles in one year. One million. This number includes those hit by cars, buses, motorbikes, and trucks. The number doesn’t include any other type of conveyance such as an ATV.

A recent string of dead animals found along Nansemond Parkway, including dogs, cats, opossums and squirrels, accented an alarming trend in Suffolk. As we get bigger, with more houses, cars and people, animals have less space to live and grow.

This trend is a serious issue for a number of reasons. First, no one wants to see someone’s pet killed. Second, animals on the road present a hazard to driving that could have serious consequences. Finally, the sight and smell of a dead animal along the road detracts from Suffolk’s natural splendor.

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What can drivers do?

In an article titled &uot;Roadkill: Driving Animals to Their Grave&uot; writer Mark Mathew Braunstein suggested some ways that we can help reduce this problem.

Keep animals off the road. Pet owners, be responsible keep your pets away from busy highways.

When new roads are built the city should insist on wider shoulders. The wider the shoulder the more room to keep away from animals that may have strayed onto the road.

Drivers need to develop good situational awareness and not be concerned with fixing make-up, talking on the cell phone or eating a messy sandwich.

Expect animals and react accordingly.

Keep your attention on the road…glance continually from the road to the roadside.

Be considerate Suffolk residents. If you own a pet, keep it inside unless on a leash. If you drive, be on the watch for darting animals. Finally, drive the speed limit, it will allow for easier stopping.