The Utah Department of Transportation has begun testing a new radar-equipped device designed to reduce vehicle-deer collisions.
The idea of a UDOT staff member, the device uses radar to detect wildlife near the road and then sends a signal that triggers LED lights on a “deer caution” sign to alert drivers.
The agency is testing the device on S.R. 73 in Eagle Mountain, a road where about 100 deer have been hit in the past four years, UDOT says. Each sign costs about $7,200 and is made by traffic safety products manufacturer K&K Systems, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
UDOT officials say that if the test proves successful, the signs could be installed in other areas.
Leslie Beck, a UDOT maintenance station supervisor, got the idea for the device after seeing radar-activated devices for other traffic uses. The motivation for a new solution came after she got a call about a deer hit, and when she arrived on scene, she found eight to 14 dead that had been hit.
“There was a lot of mothers and a lot of babies that had been hit, and it was just heartbreaking to see,” says Beck on a UDOT video (see below).