A NEWTON Mearns resident has raised safety concerns with East Renfrewshire council after spotting deer on the area’s rural roads.
Mavis Craig contacted the council recently to ask if a sign could be erected in the area surrounding Stewarton and Capelrig Roads – growing in population thanks to new housing developments – but received no reply.
She told The Extra: “A few weeks ago, two deer calmly walked out in front of my car at Patterton roundabout.
“On Friday, along Capelrig Road, I saw a dead deer lying on the grass verge, near the new school building.
“The area used to be all field and trees but is now filled with new builds which, unfortunately, means we are forcing out lots of animals”.
Mrs Craig continued: “I have spoken to the council and asked if a sign could be erected, to make drivers aware that these beautiful creatures are wandering around and, as deer do, may suddenly bound out of the trees and be in front of a car before you know it.
“Stewarton Road is a 40 mile per hour speed limit, and if a deer were to jump out, a really bad accident could occur – not to mention that these creatures can write off a car”.
Inspector Campbell Crawford of Strathclyde police commented this week that while it isn’t a common problem, incidents of wildlife on rural East Ren roads has occurred.
He explained: “It’s not a major issue, but we do get some calls — more often about sheep on the road, at which point we attend and contact the farmer concerned.
“But we treat each case on individual merit, whether it’s a deer knocked down or an animal causing an obstruction.
“Generally they move off the road and back into fields — they’re more scared of cars than drivers are of them. But if someone comes across any road safety issue like this, we’d ask them to contact us”.
A spokeswoman for East Renfrewshire council acknowledged Mrs Craig’s request, and this week told The Extra: “This is the first time we have heard of deer on the road in this area. If it becomes a frequent occurrence then we can look into putting up a sign”.
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Tips for driving in deer-populated areas (courtesy of the AA):
1. Accidents involving deer peak in May, October and November.
Worst times of day are around sunrise and between sunset and midnight.
2. Use high beam head-lights when it’s dark, but dip them if you see a deer, otherwise it may freeze in your path. Don’t dazzle other drivers though.
3. If a deer appears suddenly it’s safer to continue on your normal track rather than swerve or brake hard to try to avoid it. Sudden manoeuvres can result in a loss of control and increase the risk of hitting a tree or another vehicle.
4. If you do hit a deer, try to stop somewhere safe. If you can’t then do your best to ensure that your accident isn’t hit by other vehicles.
5. Report the accident to the police who will contact someone who can help the injured deer.
6. Bear in mind that if you miss the deer (or any other animal), but hit something else, it will be very hard to prove that the deer ever existed.