Roo menace rises on region's roads

Eighty claims were made last year by Glenelg Shire drivers after colliding with animals, with 83 in the Southern Grampians.

Eighty claims were made last year by Glenelg Shire drivers after colliding with animals, with 83 in the Southern Grampians.

AN animal is hit by a car in Southern Grampians Shire once every four days at least, new figures show. 

RACV Insurance statistics reveal the municipality is a hot spot for animal-related collisions, with 83 motorists making claims for damage in 2013.

These figures don’t include incidents where insurance claims are not made.

Eighty claims were made last year by Glenelg Shire drivers after colliding with animals. For the same time period, Moyne Shire had 62, Colac-Otway 42, Corangamite 45 and Warrnambool 15.

The biggest danger area in the south-west, according to the figures, is Hamilton, which had 28 animal-related incidents resulting in an insurance claim. Portland (26) and Halls Gap (24) were also hot spots.

RACV members across the state lodged 4674 claims resulting from collisions with animals last year — 327 of which were in south-west municipalities — an increase of 11 per cent compared to the previous year and a rise of 40 per cent since 2011.

RACV Insurance general manager Paul Northey said kangaroos accounted for 78 per cent of all claims for damage caused by collisions with animals.

“RACV received a total of 3641 kangaroo-related claims, costing on average $3685 to repair,” Mr Northey said.

“While Victorian urban areas expand, the number of kangaroo collisions on secondary and feeder roads increased by 28 per cent, compared to a decline of 23 per cent in highway incidents last year.”

There were 245 claims for damage caused by collisions with dogs and 244 claims following impacts with wombats. Cattle accounted for 82 incidents.

The statistics come as a wandering cow and a young driver collided on the Heywood-Woolsthorpe Road on Friday night.

The 19-year-old man was returning home from Warrnambool to Hawkesdale about 10pm when the collision occurred. 

The young man was able to free himself from his crashed vehicle and get home.

Sergeant Pat Day, of Koroit police, said as grass feed was becoming scarce cattle were now putting fencing under pressure and it was at this time each year that the issue of stock on the roads peaked.

“There’s very little grass and if electric fences are not working and fencing is past its use-by date then hungry cattle will try and get out looking for a feed,” he said.

“It’s a case of the grass being much greener on the other side of the fence in some circumstances. Every winter cows push on road-side fences and escape.”

“The onus is on the owner of cattle to make sure their animals are secured.”

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