Iowa D-O-T officials say they’re seeing positive results from an experiment in northern Iowa that aimed to cut down on the number of collisions between motor vehicles and deer. Safety engineer Steve Gent says an eight-foot tall deer fence was put along two miles of Interstate-35 near Dows at the Iowa River crossing. Since it’s been up, deer/vehicle crashes have dropped from about 17 a year to just five in the past 14 months. Gent says the number of deer/vehicle crashes has continued to rise in Iowa over the past 20 years.The numbers went from about four thousand a year to well over ten thousand crashes a year. During that time, the deer population has risen 260-percent. This week, D-O-T and D-N-R officials from Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin are meeting in Madison to share information on deer avoidance measures. Gent says Iowa’s in good shape compared to the number of crashed in other states.In the five states combined, there are more than 130-thousand crashes a year involving deer, 45-hundred injuries and 20 deaths. Gent says Iowa averages about one death each year in deer/vehicle crashes.
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