An increased number of animal collisions have been occurring on roadways in Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said in a written statement Friday. Drivers and livestock owners should take proper precautions to keep these collisions from happening.

An increased number of animal collisions have been occurring on roadways in Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said in a written statement Friday. Drivers and livestock owners should take proper precautions to keep these collisions from happening.


Safety for Drivers


"With cooler temperatures, we have seen an increase in wildlife movement around state roadways. Our goal is to remind motorists to use caution when driving, especially in rural areas," OHP Captain George Brown said in the prepared statement.


The OHP recommends that drivers obey speed restrictions, wear their seat belts and scan the area for animals near the roadway while driving.


Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Mark Tackett said he has not noticed an increased number of animal collisions in the Grayson County area recently, but still recommends drives be aware of wildlife.


"During hours of darkness, everyone should reduce their speed. Especially in rural areas," Tackett said.


Safety for Farmers and Ranchers


Farmers and ranchers are encourage take measures to keep their livestock from roaming into roadways.


Make sure that all fencing in a farm or ranch is effective; perimeter fences should be inspected, especially after bad weather, said Grayson County Agrilife Extension Agent Chuck Jones. Use four- to five-strand barbed wire and space fence posts correctly, he said.


Ensure that everyone entering and exiting farm or ranch property closes gates behind them, Jones said. And he urged farmers and ranchers not to get into the habit of leaving gates open, even if it is only for a few minutes.


"Keep content animals," Jones said, by making sure that livestock have adequate pasture to graze on.


Of all farm animals, bulls tend to be the most likely to push down a fence because of their strength. Consider keeping bulls in interior pastures, and keeping them away from pastures that border roads, Jones said.