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Animal strikes are ‘vital’ crash statistics

Roadkill fauna crash statistics horses
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Motorcycles hitting kangaroos and other native fauna and livestock should be noted as a separate crash cause in road toll statistics, according to a motorcycle campaigner.

Independent Riders’ Group spokesman Damien Codognotto points out that “animal strikes”  are “seriously under-reported road hazards”.

“Last week a couple died hitting a tree after avoiding a kangaroo,” he says. “The animal was not struck so the crash will probably be reported as ‘Lost control. Ran off road’.

“This is how unreliable crash data gets into our system.”

Roo kangaroo roadkill wildlife crash accident
Photo courtesy of Geoff Ray

VicRoads says “animal strikes account for fewer than 1% of serious injury and fatal crashes” each year.

However, an AAMI survey of 20,000 claims in 2015 indicated animal strikes are a very serious problem in terms of safety and the economy. 

Nine out of every 10 animal strikes involves a kangaroo, which confirms its disdain among the motorcycle community.

Kangaroos are in plague proportions

Damien says the differences between VicRoads and AAMI statistics highlight the lack of reliable crash data that forms the basis of road safety campaigns and policing.


He also points out that poor road maintenance is another significant cause of crashes not always picked up in crash data collected by police.

“Money wasted on duplicated, unnecessary and often confusing signs and dangerous, costly posts and distracting ‘freeway art’ would be better spent on filling pot holes, fixing edges, repairing bridges and clearing road debris, particularly in country Victoria,” he says.

  • What do you think? Leave your comments below.
  1. Obviously this is a tragedy, but if the animal wasn’t hit then it wasn’t an animal strike. So how is this to be recorded? The roo isn’t telling! I’m guessing that there were others who witnessed the incident. How did the Police report the crash based on information provided at the scene? Just ticking a box or providing a description to fit the format is where the problem lies

  2. Highlights the need to legalise and legitimise helmet cams, instead of throwing up bullshyte excuses.

    However here in Victoria, police even when supplied clear HD recorded vision of an event, still can not get their shit together.

  3. Speed kills those speeding roo’s horses cows and dogs need to be apprehended and fined to an inch of their lives so they don’t do it again!
    I have been nearly knocked out of my seat and winded by a swooping magpie or other very large black bird, amputated a few inches of tail on a very large roo that was sitting in the middle of the road just after a bend on a dark foggy road and gotten airborne after running over a dead roo that was covered by a light layer of fog at 110 kph and came out of that experience intact and upright but for a slightly higher voice and those are just the highlights of my encounters with animals so I really doubt Vicroaads 1% is anything more than some idiots guess rather than an actual statistic dogs alone would count for numerous motorcycle crashes I’ve had to pick a bike up and call a vet when one stupid k9 sunk it’s choppers into my front tyre when I was pulling into a servo and dropped the bike on it.

  4. In the case above it was “loss of control, ran off road”. That was poor driver skill. Roosters do seem to have the ability to pick an object (motorcycle) from a long way out and plan a trajectory to take them out, or alternately stand beside the road and turn and hop directly into the path of a vehicle.
    Maybe a program to increase their IQ.

  5. How often is “lost control and hit a tree” used in the news for country crashes? How many of these are to be contributed to trying to dodge a kangaroo? Maybe if these statistics were made known, then all the bleeding heart conservationists might just sit up and take notice as to how effing many kangaroos cause accidents.

  6. Yes yes and yes.Do the people who preside over these stats all live in the cities?.There are nurmerous contacts with animals in regional area or damage from endeavouring to aviod them.
    A good idea that needs to be taken up.

  7. 1 bad stack in 400,000km. Kangaroo at 100kph. Animal strike 100% of my crashes. Apart from having 3 legally parked bikes knocked over by a van, atwin cab ute, and you guessed it,,, a Camry.

  8. It’s not just skippy’s up my way, wombats are a major issue too.
    I’ve been fortunate enough not to collect either while on my bike but over the years I’ve hit a few kangaroos and numerous wombats, foxes and rabbits in my car.
    Had a close encounter with a suicidal Koala the other night too…fortunately some quick evasive action avoided adding it to my extensive “kill” list…

    As if the wildlife isn’t bad enough though, we also have to deal with the disgusting state of our roads, Vicroads are hopeless, they’d much rather put up a few warning signs and reduce speed limits than to get stuck into fixing the huge potholes and deformed pavement in a timely manner.
    And even when they do eventually repair the road, it’s usually done in such a half arsed manner that it is quite often breaking up again 5 minutes later…

  9. FERAL DEER is a very big problem in Brisbane, yep that’s right, in the city and surrounding suburbs anywhere there is more than three tree’s, I survived hitting an estimated ( by Police ) 400kg Stag, his head and antlers were above my half apes. It happened on Centenary Hwy Mount Ommaney, where in that section is 100km. Acar up front tried to worn me but I wasn’t sure so I slowed to approx. 75 – 80km, that’s when it landed less than 6ft in front of me.
    The Mayor says there is only around 300 to 400 around the whole of the greater Brisbane area “YET” in Queensland University studies they estimate approx. around the 3000 up mark because the Councils Culling Process just isn’t working.
    So enjoy your ride in and around Brisbane but beside the occasional dog or roo your more likely to come across a feral Deer from Dusk till Dawn, CHEERS.

    1. Yes , I live in Westlake Brisbane, and regularly see the deer! I also have come face to face with two stags near Mt Ommaney shops, but was able to get around!

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