Friday, October 23, 2009

NEW JERSEY NEWS: Noise Devices Deployed to Reduce Collisions

Essex County will purchase and install noise-emitting devices to deter deer from roadways and potentially dangerous collisions with passing cars.

The devices will be put along Parsonage Hill Road and JFK Parkway in Millburn and around the East Orange Water Reserve in Livingston, county Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr. announced Thursday.

The devices, which will be purchased through a $75,000 state Department of Transportation grant, emit a high-frequency noise to scare deer and prevent them from running into traffic. They are activated by sensors that detect headlights of approaching motor vehicles.

Hundreds of deer are struck and killed on county-managed roads each year, DiVincenzo said. Several dozen are also killed on municipal roads, county surveys revealed. The county has recorded 196 such accidents through September this year.

“The overabundance of deer in Essex County has destroyed the forest in our reservations and created dangerous situations on our roads. As we move forward in the third year of our culling program and accelerate the regrowth of our forests with an aggressive planting program, expanding the use of these reflectors will be a tremendous asset to make our roads safer and prevent deer-related accidents,”
DiVincenzo said in a news release issued Thursday.

The devices should be in place by the spring.

Last year, the county kicked off its deer deterrent pilot program last year when it installed similar devices along a 3-mile stretch of Cherry Lane, a county road that cuts through the South Mountain Reservation. That effort was funded by the Essex County Parks Foundation.

The county has already requested funding from the DOT to expand the program to include additional roadways.


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