A new road sign featuring a hedgehog will be introduced to roads across the UK to warn drivers of the potential hazards caused by small animals.
According to the latest Department for Transport figures, hundreds of people are injured on the road every year due to accidents caused by less visible animals (such as squirrels, badgers, otters and hedgehogs).
The new sign aims to warn road users of the potential for small animals on the road ahead and is set to be placed in areas where accident rates are the highest.
“We have some of the safest roads in the world but we are always looking at how we can make them safer. Motorcyclists and other vulnerable road users are particularly at risk,” Chris explained.
“The new small mammal warning sign should help to reduce the number of people killed and injured, as well as helping our precious small wild mammal population to flourish.”
Chris is also calling on local authorities and animal welfare groups across the UK to identify wildlife accident hotspots where the sign should be located. There is hope the new sign will reverse the decline in wildlife numbers. Hedgehogs, for example, have halved in numbers since 2000.
Jill Nelson, CEO at People’s Trust for Endangered Species also commented on the new sign saying: “We have also joined forces with the British Hedgehog Preservation Society to deliver the Hedgehog Street campaign, meeting with Mr Grayling to express our concerns for hedgehogs on roads and elsewhere.”
“We welcome this focus on road safety and protection for all small mammals.”
As part of the road sign launch, The Transport Secretary also has plans to meet with road safety experts such as Brake, the AA and the RAC Foundation to discuss the scale of the problem and what efforts can be taken to reduce to number of deaths on the road.