37 moose accidents too many, say N.B., P.E.I. drivers
Highway between Confederation Bridge and Port Elgin, N.B. notorious for moose collisions
Drivers say more needs to be done to stop collisions with moose along the New Brunswick highway between the Confederation Bridge — which links P.E.I. to the mainland — and Port Elgin, N.B.
There have been 37 such accidents on that stretch of Route 16 in a five-year period .
Moncton's Erica Allen drives Route 16 most weekends to visit her boyfriend in P.E.I. She struck a bull moose, damaging her car, in October.
"I didn't have a lot of time to react," said Allen, who thinks a split-second turn of the wheel kept her from hitting the animal straight on.
"Literally, one second difference, I would have been injured or not here at all," she said.
Allen wants New Brunswick to reconsider moose fencing.
The province has a policy that if an area of highway has more than 15 moose accidents in five years it will look at fencing.
But, between 2006 and 2010, there were more than double that number of accidents on the 20-kilometre stretch of highway.
New Brunswick Transportation Minister Claude Williams said fencing wouldn't be effective on the highway because there are too many access roads and driveways.
Instead, large, yellow warning signs with flashing lights were put up, and the brush along the side of the road has been cut back so drivers have a better chance of seeing an approaching moose.
Accident numbers for 2011 are not available yet. But CBC has reported a Port Elgin couple died after hitting a moose in their car on Route 16 in late December, and a school bus carrying high school students struck a moose in October.
In January, a Cape Spear man escaped serious injury when his truck collided with a moose.
Islander Ray Brow wrote New Brunswick Transportation Minister Claude Williams after his own close call a couple of weeks ago. He came within metres of hitting a bull moose with his car.
Brow thinks drivers who see a moose should use their hazard lights to warn other drivers.
"Having the flashers on for 30 seconds is a very low-cost way for highways to raise the caution level," says Brow.
"Anything to raise the awareness of the drivers might save a life."
The high number of moose collisions on the New Brunswick highway has caught the attention of P.E.I.'s transportation minister.
Robert Vessey plans to talk to his New Brunswick counterpart about the moose accidents at a meeting at the end of February.