New road safety technology has been developed in Sweden that will help reduce the risks caused by animal incursions into the roadway. The problem is particularly acute in the north of Sweden, where reindeer frequently wander onto remote rural roads. Collisions between vehicles and large animals such as reindeer can be extremely dangerous and are not infrequent in Sweden and its neighbours, Finland and Norway.
In a bid to tackle the issue, the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) has developed a new system intended to stop reindeer from entering roads. The system can also be used to prevent animals from wandering onto rail tracks. A pilot is now being started to test the technology.
The system has been developed jointly with Umeå University, the mining firm Boliden (which has a number of operations in the north of the country) and Grans Sameby Sami village.
Although the system has been developed primarily to reduce the risk of collisions with reindeer, the technology is also said to be effective with regard to other wild animals. The key to the system is the use of sensors that detect heat and motion and set off sounds that scare the animals away. The technology is also said to be simple and easy to maintain.