Who is doing what?
There are many initiatives to reduce animal road traffic accidents in the New Forest and some of these are listed below.
No single organisation has overall responsibility so we liaise regularly to make sure activities are coordinated as far as possible.
National Park Authority
- Credit card sized Animal Emergency Hotline card
- Car window stickers saying ‘I slow down for ponies’
- Articles in Park life newsletter, distributed to local residents
- Press releases
- Information campaigns including an infographic
- Data analysis to identify trends and key issues
- Developing signs with changing messages with the Highway Authority
- Authority signed up as a member of the Shared Forest safe driving business group.
Verderers and Agisters
- Temporary ‘animal accident here’ signs left at the scene of accidents
- Distribution of weekly accident reports to the media
- Press articles generated by monthly report to Verderers Court
- Reflective collars for ponies and donkeys provided free to commoners – and encouragement at drifts to fit them
- Trial collars for cattle
- Hit and Run Reward Scheme (up to £1,000 for information leading to a conviction)
- Provide funding for a mobile police safety camera van.
- Owners of the animals fit reflective collars to animals which graze near to roads
- Sharing information about specific incidents though social media.
Hampshire County Council
- 40mph zone marked by signs at entrances to the zone and by painted 40 roundels on the road
- Warning signs on all roads, with the most prominent on those with the highest accident records
- Use of signs with changing messages as part of the overall signage scheme
- Village 30 scheme and village pinch points to reduce speeds in villages
- Trial Open Forest pinch points on Burley Road, Brockenhurst
- Fencing and cattle grids along A31, A35, A337 and around the ‘perambulation’ (where animals roam free)
- Traffic counts and speed analysis on high risk routes.
- Speed enforcement operations targeted on high risk routes through a mobile speed camera
- Support for local communities that apply to recruit Police Support Volunteers for the Community SpeedWatch initiative
- Driver awareness training as well as fines and points on the driving licence
- Country Watch exhibition trailer with animal accident information.
New Forest District Council
- Electronic Speed Indicator Devices (SIDs), Speed Limit Reminder signs (SLRs) and Speed Data Recorders (SDRs) – these provide data for Police enforcement teams and the flashing signs reduce traffic speeds while in situ.
- Open forest roadside scrub cut back by 10-15m on four-year rotation
- Post and rail fencing at blind spots
- Articles in visitor and local newspapers.
Commoners Defence Association
- Encouragement to commoners to use the reflective collars
- Took the lead in setting up a partnership with the Verderers and Police to put in place a speed camera van in the Forest for a year
- Shared Forest project (funded by Heritage Lottery Fund) to increase public awareness and understanding of depastured animals and commoning, including reducing animal accidents by working with local businesses to cascade safe driving information to their staff, contractors and customers.
- Questionnaires to drivers who have been involved in accidents (joint with the Verderers).
New Forest Trust
- Encouragement to local businesses to highlight the issue to their employees.
- Drive carefully, day and night
- Tell their friends to drive carefully
- Display window stickers in their car and carry emergency hotline cards
- Write to local newspapers to generate publicity
- Organise local campaigns and petitions to raise awareness
- Through town and parish councils, run Community SpeedWatch initiatives in their area, manned by trained Police Support Volunteers – see here for further details on Sway Parish Council’s scheme
- Provide funding for a Speed Indicator Devices – usually through Parish or Town Council.
- Some, such as ExxonMobil, have been active in raising awareness amongst their staff or have funded new initiatives
- A new scheme for all local businesses is currently being developed – details to follow.
- Annual events for learner and new drivers at the college.
- Regular point of discussion at events (including the New Forest Show), visitor centres, at schools etc.