Announcement sent by the Mornington Peninsula Shire concerning a project aimed at reducing speed on rural roads using wildlife warning signs.
There were no reported vehicle crashes and a large comparative reduction in wildlife injuries during the trial. In particular kangaroo deaths were drastically reduced to seven.
“In early 2019 the Shire Traffic and Transport Team were notified by the TAC that they had successfully applied for $30,000 grant for their Wildlife Electronic Signage project. The TAC panel approved the project based on the strong project connections to speed and driving to the road conditions.
The purpose of this project was to inform and educate road users of the wildlife risks associated with our local rural roads and encourage safe driving behaviour. Community concerns regarding kangaroos being killed on our rural roads had been significant for some time. Along with kangaroo populations increasing steadily over recent years.
The grant funds were used to purchase and install four new solar-powered, risk-based variable message signs from Germany. The company created a “Kangaroo” dot matrix symbol for us. We had previously used similar VMS signage as a driver behavioural tool, to encourage compliance with speed limits around schools.
Last year the signs were installed at strategic locations on priority rural roads. This is where roadkill data indicated there were high numbers of kangaroos being killed. The signs remained in place for the next eight months. Councillor David Gill was a strong advocate for this project on behalf of the Red Hill Ward community. The Australian Wildlife Protection Council was included as a project partner. The Nepean Greens and Red Hill South Landcare Group were supportive of the project.
The project evaluation included collection of traffic and crash data, along with roadkill data and community feedback. The recorded data was analysed to determine if there had been any road safety benefits. The evidence indicated there was a significant reduction in kangaroo roadkill on the project roads, compared to historical data. No crashes were recorded during this time and a reduction in vehicle speeds had been noted.
Strengthened community partnerships was another beneficial outcome. Interest in the project was shown by other councils and community safety groups. Department of Transport are now considering a similar project for Arthurs Seat Road. The TAC noted the expected outcomes were achieved and accepted the final report.”