The Korea Herald

BY: Park Soong-joo

Doe a deer, slow the gear

What to do and how to prevent roadkill

The Korea Herald
Earlier this month, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and the Ministry of Environment established roadkill reduction measures for 2023, to foster wildlife and transportation safety.
Based on the National Institute of Ecology's report, 80 roadkill-prone areas have been newly selected to go along with measures to facilitate prevention, the ministries reported.
The Korea Herald
The National Institute of Ecology and the Ministry of Environment have been promoting responsible reporting of roadkill over the past few years.

Jung Kwang-sung, a deputy director of the Land Ministry, told The Korea Herald that a surge in roadkill is possibly due to an increase in public reports, which is in no way a bad thing.
Reported Roadkill by year
The Korea Herald
- Installment of
fences to keep animals off the road in the 80 selected roadkill-prone areas.

- Installment of "beware of animals" LED signs in the selected areas where fences cannot be built.

- Providing the public with a roadkill-prone area map.

- Providing GPS navigation companies with data to add voice directions to drivers around roadkill-prone areas.
The Korea Herald
"The lion's share of animals don't survive an accident, but even when they do, sensitive animals like water deer die anyway because of stress.
Human contact causes immense stress to wild animals, so our effort to treat them is what drives them to death, more often than not. This is exactly why we need to focus on taking precautions,"
Jang Ji-young /Seoul Wildlife Center
Regrettably, the mortality rate is quite high for animals in roadkill-prone areas, especially for sensitive animals.
The chance of a water deer surviving a car crash is slim to none.
The Korea Herald
Fences have proven to be the most effective mitigation methods. According to a recent study by Concordia University in Montreal, fences alone have reduced roadkill by 54 percent. In combination with a crossing structure, roadkill was reduced by 83 percent.
install fences and crossing structures to keep wildlife off the road.

Do not speed and
be mindful of your driving.
Jang stresses two critical measures that we all must follow. One is for the government, and the other is common to all drivers.
The Korea Herald
What are some of the factors that make Korea prone to roadkill accidents?
Mountainous and narrow geography

Nationwide trend toward expanding road construction
"By paving more roads, we are only making our lives more convenient, but from the animals' perspective, we are the trespassers," said Jang.

"According to the revised fifth comprehensive national territorial plan, Korea is planning to expand highways all over the nation by 2040. In these instances, it is of utmost importance to consider the animals and include fences and crossing structures as part of their construction plans," Jang added.
The Korea Herald
Speed thrills but kills
Another important strategy that we all should follow is to reduce speed.

"Roadkill accidents are 30 percent less likely to happen when a car going 80 kilometers per hour reduces its speed by 5 kph. And a driver's response time shortens just by being conscious of it. Therefore, it would be wise to utilize a GPS navigation system that alerts the driver of these areas," said Jang.
The Korea Herald
Even when the survival rate for animals is slim, it is imperative to call
and report roadkill,
because it helps organizations collect
data to identify roadkill-prone areas.

"We may not be able
to save an animal hit
by a car, but we would
be able to prevent the accident beforehand
with a big database
built through active reporting and
data collection,"
said Jang.
If you're an Android user, download
“Good Road,” an app created
by Green Korea, to report roadkill
quickly just by submitting a photo.
The Korea Herald
To report a dead animal
or other roadkill, call 110
What to do if you witness roadkill:

If you are ever to hit an animal or witness roadkill, make sure to stay in your car.

Not only will your presence worsen the condition of sensitive animals, it could lead to more accidents. If the animal happens to be a boar or any animal considered violent, call 119.
The Korea Herald
When a car hits an animal, it isn't always just the animals that die. Cars get damaged and people get hurt.

“For all of us to cohabitate in peace, people need to be aware that these measures are for all of us, including humans,” Jang said.
The Korea Herald