Motorists on the A1 should slow down and be on the lookout for deer on the road in May, warns Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).
Vehicle accidents involving deer peak at this time of year, as yearling animals disperse, looking for their own territories.
Because of this, SNH, in conjunction with Transport Scotland, are placing warning messages on variable messaging signs on high-risk trunk roads throughout the month of May. The signs are targeted on roads with higher rates of deer-vehicle collisions, one of which is the A1 between Musselburgh and Lamberton.
The most recent deer-vehicle collisions research shows there are more than 7000 collisions between motor vehicles and deer every year in Scotland, with an average of 65 of these resulting in human injuries.
The combined economic value of these accidents, through human injuries and significant damage to vehicles is £7 million. Across the UK, it’s estimated there are between 42,000 and 74,000 deer-vehicle related accidents a year, resulting in 400 to 700 human injuries and about 15 deaths, with an annual cost approaching £47m.
Sinclair Coghill, SNH wildlife management officer, said: “We should all be aware of the risk of deer on the road when we’re driving, especially at this time of year.
“This is becoming more and more of an issue in the Central Belt and around our towns and cities – it’s not just a problem on remote Highland roads, as many people think.
“We’d ask motorists to slow down and watch for deer crossing in front of traffic. Be particularly alert if you’re driving near woods where deer can suddenly appear before you have time to brake.
“If you do hit a deer, report it to the police, as the deer may be injured and suffering.”