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Wildlife Warning Signs: Public Assessment of Components, Placement and Designs to Optimise Driver Response
Environmental Futures Centre, Griffith University, Nathan, Qld 4111, Australia
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Received: 25 October 2013; in revised form: 12 December 2013 / Accepted: 12 December 2013 / Published: 17 December 2013
Simple Summary: Wildlife warning signs are aimed at reducing wildlife–vehicle collisions but there is little evidence that they are effective. Improving these sign designs to increase driver response may reduce wildlife–vehicle collisions. We examined drivers’ responses to different wildlife warning sign designs through a public survey. The presences of some sign components and sign position were assessed. Drivers’ responses to eight graphically displayed signs and animal- and vehicle-activated signs were ranked and participants indicated the sign to which they were most likely to respond. Three signs ranked highly. Animal- and vehicle-activated signs were also ranked highly by participants. More research into optimising wildlife warning sign designs is needed.
Abstract: Wildlife warning signs are the most commonly used and widespread form of road impact mitigation, aimed at reducing the incidence of wildlife–vehicle collisions. Evidence of the effectiveness of currently used signs is rare and often indicates minimal change in driver behaviour. Improving the design of these signs to increase the likelihood of appropriate driver response has the potential to reduce the incidence of wildlife–vehicle collisions. This study aimed to examine and assess the opinions of drivers on wildlife warning sign designs through a public opinion survey. Three currently used sign designs and five alternative sign designs were compared in the survey. A total of 134 drivers were surveyed. The presence of temporal specifications and an updated count of road-killed animals on wildlife warning signs were assessed, as well as the position of the sign. Drivers’ responses to the eight signs were scaled separately at three speed limits and participants indicated the sign to which they were most likely to respond. Three signs consistently ranked high. The messages conveyed by these signs and their prominent features were explored. Animal-activated and vehicle speed-activated signs were ranked very highly by participants. Extensive field trials of various sign designs are needed to further this research into optimizing wildlife warning sign designs.
Keywords: wildlife–vehicle collisions; road signs; sign design; driver behaviour; mitigation; road ecology; urban wildlife
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MDPI and ACS Style
Bond, A.R.F.; Jones, D.N. Wildlife Warning Signs: Public Assessment of Components, Placement and Designs to Optimise Driver Response. Animals 2013, 3, 1142-1161.
Bond ARF, Jones DN. Wildlife Warning Signs: Public Assessment of Components, Placement and Designs to Optimise Driver Response. Animals. 2013; 3(4):1142-1161.
Bond, Amy R.F.; Jones, Darryl N. 2013. "Wildlife Warning Signs: Public Assessment of Components, Placement and Designs to Optimise Driver Response." Animals 3, no. 4: 1142-1161.