Sign warns drivers of deer on road


Drivers heading east from Craig have another warning to watch for deer on the highway.

Migrating deer herds have prompted the Colorado Depart-ment of Transportation and the Division of Wildlife to place a lighted warning sign on the east side of Craig to notify drivers of the danger of animals on the road.

"We place signs all over Colorado wherever we have the highest incidents of animal collisions," said Jim Nall, Traffic Safety Engineer with CDOT.

The variable message sign can be programmed to warn drivers of hazards ahead. It warns divers to slow down and watch for wildlife. Nall noted that 90 percent of collisions with animals occur at night.

"We work in a partnership with the Division of Wildlife to determine where to place the signs," Nall said. "They notified us of deer herds in the area."

That section of U.S. Highway 40 has been a dangerous area in regards to animal collisions for many years because of its proximity to the Yampa River.

A high number of collisions led to the installation of special reflectors last year for nearly eight miles east of Craig. The reflectors bounce light off at an angle, creating a corridor of light intended to keep deer off of the roadway until the cars have passed.

The 1,000 reflector posts stretch from mile marker 93 east to the Routt county line and cost $132,000 including installation.

On Colorado Highway 13 north and south of Craig, the speed limit has been lowered at night to 55 mph because of the high number of vehicle-animal collisions.

That solution has helped lower the number of collisions, according to statistics collected by the Colorado State Patrol.

Nall said the lighted warning sign will be in place until the herds move to higher ground with the warmer weather.

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