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

Local News

(Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)...

Mark Jones

Police find no bomb after threat issued toward Provo bookstore

Provo police say they found no signs of a bomb following a bomb threat Saturday morning.

2 hours ago

Natalie Cline attends the monthly meeting for the Utah State Board of Education, the first since th...

Lindsay Aerts

Natalie Cline loses reelection bid at Salt Lake County GOP Convention

Natalie Cline has lost in her reelction bid to remain on the Utah State Board of Education.

3 hours ago

Karl Stoss, Future Host Commission for the Olympic Winter Games chair, Colin Hilton, Olympic Legacy...

Lisa Riley Roche

IOC wraps up visit to Utah’s proposed 2034 Olympic venues

A pair of short track speedskating coaches at the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns were eagerly waiting Friday for the arrival of the International Olympic Committee delegation in Utah visiting venues for a 2034 Winter Games, so they could catch up with a former teammate from China, who’s now an IOC member.

5 hours ago

In March, Amariah Jacobs was on a hike with her husband along the Oregon coast when she found a rar...

Paulina Aguilar, CNN

Preschool teacher finds rare fossil along Oregon coast

In March, Amariah Jacobs was on a hike with her husband along the Oregon coast when she found a rare fossil of an extinct animal.

9 hours ago

(Courtesy: Ogden Utah Fire Department) The aftermath of the fire...

Carlysle Price

Ogden mobile home fire claims lives of a cat and dog

A one-story mobile home caught fire Friday night near Wall Avenue, where four people and three pets were affected. 

9 hours ago

A man stands near what was discovered to be a well that opened up in a Spanish Fork man's Driveway....

Brianna Chavez

Spanish Fork homeowner finds old well under his driveway

After years of gradual change in one Spanish Fork homeowner's driveway, a well was discovered after part of the concrete caved in.

21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

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