Collisions with animals on the rise

Generic photo. Picture: THINKSTOCK

Generic photo. Picture: THINKSTOCK

CENTRAL Victoria has recorded a 10 per cent rise in vehicle collisions involving animals, with the majority of incidents involving kangaroos, RACV statistics show. 

Insurance figures from last year show incidents involving animals in Greater Bendigo increased 29 per cent - giving the city the second-highest number of collisions involving animals in the state. 

The next highest areas in the region were Macedon Ranges and Mount Alexander shires. 

RACV personal insurance manager Phil James said the insurance company recorded 3641 claims of damage as a result of a collision with a kangaroo statewide, up from 3132 in 2012. 

He said dogs were the next highest category at 245 in 2013. 

"Kangaroos are the most common animal to be struck by vehicles that resulted in an insurance claim. Collisions with animals happen at dawn or dusk - when there is little light," he said.

Mr James said he was unsure what accounted for a higher number of collisions involving kangaroos.

He said wombat, cattle, cats, foxes, deer and horses were among other animals commonly involved in collisions.

He said motorists should slow down when travelling around bends and over crests. 

"We ask people to take extra care, particularly on regional roads," he said. 

Wildlife Rescue and Emergency Service president Neil Morgan said the number of kangaroos killed as a result of vehicle collisions equaled that of domestic animals. 

He said domestic animals included cattle, sheep, dogs and cats. 

"It is really disappointing to see (so many domestic animals killed). It could be cattle getting out on the side of the road and wandering or dogs escaping," he said. 

The RACV recommend motorists take extra care when driving at dawn and dusk, when animals are most active.

Mr James said it was a timely reminder to make sure motorists had adequate car insurance.

"Colliding with an animal, whether it is on a country highway or an urban road, not only puts you and your family at risk of serious injury, it can also prove very costly," he said. 

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