LOCAL NEWS

New Utah roadkill app hopes to improve human and animal roadway safety

Dec 8, 2022, 1:11 PM
More than 5,000 collisions between cars and animals have been reported so far in 2022. Experts say ...
More than 5,000 collisions between cars and animals have been reported so far in 2022. Experts say the actual number is much higher (DWR)
(DWR)

SALT LAKE CITY — So far this year over 5,000 cars have collided with Utah wildlife. Oh deer.

Utah’s roadkill experts say the actual number of collisions is likely twice as high because many incidents aren’t reported. To help collect data — and to help clear animal carcasses — Utah Department of Transportation and Division of Wildlife Resources have released a new app: the Utah Roadkill Reporter.

It’s free of course in both Google Play and Apple app stores and available now. It uses GPS tracking and also requires users to sign in with Google or Facebook and asks for a phone number. When a citizen opens the app it’s Google map with a “+ Report” button and, if GPS is allowed, a map with the phone’s current location.

An app is available to report roadkill in Utah. (UDOT)

The reporting process is really a good-citizen initiative. UDOT and DWR said getting animals off of roads will improve safety but the data could also help animals.

“It is important for us to understand how many wildlife-vehicle collisions occur in Utah,” DWR Utah Migration Initiative Coordinator Blair Stringham said. “This new app will allow us to know exactly when and where collisions occur, which will help us identify hot spot areas on Utah highways. We can then work with UDOT and other partners to install underpasses, fencing, wildlife overpasses and other structures to reduce collisions in those areas and keep wildlife and people safe.”

The app is expected to provide data about where migration patterns of animal species take place in Utah as part of the Utah Wildlife Migration Initiative that tracks and studies wildlife and fish in the state.

 

Most of that data comes from animals wearing GPS trackers or fish tagged with transmitters, so the more the app is used, the more data will be available to study.

Matt Howard, UDOT’s natural resource manager said:

The new app will make it easier for the public to use and will give us more and better information to guide future mitigation efforts.

Deer make up a vast majority of reported car and animal incidents with 4,900 car collisions reported this year according to UDOT and DWR. Elk have 166 reports and 20 more have been reported with moose. Smaller animals are struck by cars and killed too and include birds, raccoons, coyotes, squirrels, and rabbits. Such collisions are stressful and even dangerous for humans, but are almost always worse for animals.

The app asks the user to set a location and then asks for more information like its species and if it can be determined, sex and age. Users are also able to submit a photo, thought UDOT and DWR strongly recommend never using the app while driving and urge people to stay in their cars for their personal safety. There are tabs on the app that allow the reporting of amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles.

If it isn’t safe to stop, the app can be used to report later, using mile markers to report locations. There is also a phone number to call, 801.799.3000, if there is a live animal that needs assistance. Anyone who is injured in a collision is urged to call 911.

DWR has tips to avoid wildlife collisions:

  • Be especially alert at dawn and dusk.
  • Heed wildlife crossing signs. These signs are usually placed in areas known to have a high volume of wildlife/vehicle collisions.
  • Be alert on roadways near wooded, agricultural and wetland areas and also near lakes and streams.
  • Scan both sides of the road as you drive. Invite passengers to help watch for wildlife.
  • Do not drive distracted. Put away food, phones and other distractions.
  • When possible, use high-beam headlights to better illuminate the road.
  • Look for an animal’s eyeshine, which can be seen from a distance. Slow down once you have spotted an animal near the roadside.
  • Some animals travel in groups, so be sure to watch for additional animals if you see one.
  • Do not throw trash out of your vehicle. Not only are there penalties for littering on a highway, but trash and food scraps can also draw animals to roadways.

After a roadkill report is made, and the data shared by UDOT and DWR, it is intended to help clear roadways quickly and tracks carcasses that have been picked up as well as routes completed by contractors.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

(KSL TV)...
Tamara Vaifanua

Financial tips to prepare for having kids

Having kids can be exciting, but it requires a lot of financial planning. Here are some smart money moves for new and expecting parents.
13 hours ago
Unsheltered individuals seek warmth in the makeshift warming tent provided by advocates during bitt...
Ashley Fredde

County opens warming center after Salt Lake homeless advocates build unsanctioned tent

Temperatures became dangerously low across the state, making people without housing particularly vulnerable.
13 hours ago
(File) Police Lights responding to a scene....
Eliza Pace

Two employees dead at Northrop Grumman Magna facility

Two employees are dead at the Northrop Grumman facility.
13 hours ago
(CNN)...
Eliza Pace

Hawaii family safe after boulder crashes through home

A woman is safe after a very close call with a boulder crashing through her home in Honolulu.
13 hours ago
(Salt Lake City Police Department/Twitter)...
Shelby Lofton and Josh Ellis, KSL TV

1 dead, 1 injured after two auto-pedestrian crashes at same SLC intersection

Police say one person has died following an auto-pedestrian crash near 1200 West and 600 North.
13 hours ago
Utah Rep. Ryan Wilcox, R-Ogden, wants to create better criteria for issuing Amber Alerts, saying "o...
Bridger Beal-Cvetko, KSL.com

Does the state of Utah issue too many Amber Alerts?

If you tend to ignore notifications about Amber Alerts because of their frequency, you may not be alone.
13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
New Utah roadkill app hopes to improve human and animal roadway safety