This report compiled data from several evaluation studies that examined the impacts of animal warning systems in the Unites States and Europe. In Montana and Pennsylvania, data related to planning, installation, reliability, and acceptance testing were evaluated to assess technical performance. Additional research, examining historical data collected from other sites (worldwide) was used to construct a hypothetical benefit-cost model and determine the benefits needed to justify system costs.
Animal-vehicle collisions affect human safety, property and wildlife. The number of these types of collisions has increased substantially over the last few decades. This report describes the results of a project that explored the prospects for a relatively new mitigation measure to reduce animal-vehicle collisions: animal detection systems. Animal detection systems use ITS to detect large animals when they approach the road and to warn oncoming vehicles of their presence.
The report identifies existing animal detection system technologies and describes the selection of two experimental detection systems and their installation at two field sites:
- US Highway 191, in Yellowstone National Park, Montana. This site stood out because of its national visibility, representative terrain and vegetation (forested hills and mountains), the abundance of large mammals, and its proximity to the office of the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University.
- Highway 22/322, near Thompsontown (northwest of Harrisburg) Pennsylvania (PA). This site ranked high because of the large number of animal-vehicle collisions; controlled access; limited fluctuations of deer populations; relative proximity to the vendor; and the terrain, vegetation and large animals seemed representative for eastern states.
This report documents experiences and lessons learned with planning and design, installation, operation and maintenance, test results on reliability, and user acceptance of animal detection systems.
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