New Smartphone App Can Help Reduce Reindeer Road-Kills

Posted: Dec 25 2016, 12:20pm CST | by , Updated: Dec 25 2016, 12:26pm CST, in News | Latest Science News

 
New Smartphone App can Help Reduce Reindeer Road-Kills
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Finland introduces a smartphone app to avoid reindeer/vehicle collisions on the road

Arctic Finland is a place where thousands of reindeer roam freely in the wild. Unfortunately, many of them are killed through road accidents every year.

Most of the animal/vehicle collisions occur during the dark winter months when animals are hard to spot. Therefore, motorists driving through their territory often end up hitting and killing reindeer.

In the past, many strategies have been applied to save reindeer from collisions from spraying their antlers with florescent colors to handing reflectors on reindeer neck but nothing really worked.

To avoid traffic accidents involving reindeer, Finnish authorities have now introduced a spartphone app called "Porokello." The app allows drivers to register any reindeer spotted near roads and serves as a kind of warning sign for other app users approaching the area. Using GPS technology, the smartphone app creates a 1.5 kilometers warning zone in the area that lasts for an hour. The signal urges motorists to drive carefully until they are not out of the risky zone.

“If there are reindeer, (drivers) reduce speed. When they have passed the warning place, they can get back to the normal speed again.” Jaakko Ylinampa, head of a local business center in Rovaniemi, said in a statement.

Reindeer are found wandering near roads and often attempting to cross them. The smartphone app can help reduce the risk of animal/vehicle collision during the darker months.

The project was just started in June this year when Finnish officials had distributed 1,000 free, app-loaded smartphones to the professional driver. Therefore, it is hard to gauge the success of the project at the moment.

However, 300 less reindeer accidents on the roads of Finnish Lapland were reported in November compared to the same month last year, which somehow hints at the effectiveness of the project.

This story may contain affiliate links.

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

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