A pair of recent videos from Transportation BC illustrate the importance of wildlife detection systems that have been implemented along Hwy 3.
The systems are a combination of thermal cameras and radar sensors that cover a nine-kilometre stretch of Highway 3, where large populations of animals tend to roam.
“There are nine thermal cameras set up in each wildlife detection corridor,” explains a blog post from Transportation BC. “They work in conjunction with radar sensors to detect wildlife and alert drivers of their presence with flashing roadside signs.”
In the first of the two videos, a pair of trucks have slowed down after seeing the flashing roadside signs, and it’s a good thing they did.
After the first truck passes the group of elk on the side of the highway, one of the animals darts out in front of the second semi.
Since the semi had slowed down, it was easily able to avoid a potentially disastrous collision with the animal.
In the second video, a cougar wanders out onto the highway and sits in the middle of the road for more than three minutes.
Without any kind of warning, a driver travelling normal speed would have troubles slowing down in time to avoid this animal in the dark.
Luckily, in this instance, the cougar leaves the roadway before a semi comes around the corner.
The provincial government has not revealed any plans to add more of these systems to other highway routes in B.C.