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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Assessing the effectiveness of deer warning signs. Final report. KTRAN: KU-03-6

Published source details

Meyer E. (2006) Assessing the effectiveness of deer warning signs. Final report. KTRAN: KU-03-6. University of Kansas report.

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Install signage to warn motorists about wildlife presence Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A before-and-after study in 1989–2004 along 22 sections of highway in Kansas, USA (Meyer 2006) found that deer warning signs did not reduce vehicle collisions with white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus. The collision rate after signs were installed (0.83) did not differ from than in the 2–10 years before signs were installed (0.78; units not clear in report, but may refer to deer killed/km/year). However, the rate over just the three years after sign installation (0.71) was significantly lower than that in just the three years before installation (1.16). Numbers of collisions closely followed trends in deer populations, which increased to a peak in around 1999 and then decreased. Deer-vehicle collision data were obtained for 22 sections of highway (section lengths not stated) across seven counties for 2–10 years before and 2–5 years after deer warning signs were installed. Timing of sign installations was not known precisely but was assumed, in the report, to have been within six months of publication of Road Safety Reports, which were mostly published in 1999.

(Summarised by Rebecca K. Smith)