YELLOWKNIFE (August 15, 2013) – Today marks the beginning of ”bison season”, the period between mid-August and mid-December when drivers on Highways 3, 5, and 7 are most at risk of a bison collision.
Minister of Transportation David Ramsay reminds drivers to exercise additional care and caution when driving on these highways, particularly after dusk. “As a result of increased awareness, we have seen a significant reduction in the number of reported bison collisions,” he said. “Drivers have responded to the message that the risk of injuries and even death as a result of a bison collision is significant, and every bison collision is avoidable.”
In 2008, there were 31 reported bison collisions, which dropped to only eight in 2011. 2012 was an average year for collisions, with 16 reported collisions. So far in 2013, there have been four reported bison collisions.
Bison collisions are continuing to occur as a result of three main factors:
- Driving at a speed too fast for conditions, particularly after dusk and at night.
- Increased high-risk hours of darkness over this period.
- Many drivers are unaware that on Highway 3, where the majority of bison collisions occur, bison can be encountered only 20 kilometres from Yellowknife.
Drive Alive, the travel safety information program of the Government of Northwest Territories, promotes bison awareness to encourage safe travel and to engage residents in a dialogue to improve safety on NWT highways. For more information about Drive Alive, please visit the Department of Transportation’s website.
For more information:
Manager of Public Affairs and Communications
Manager of the Drive Alive program
Department of Transportation
Tel: (867) 873-7712
Cell: (867) 445-3494