The state’s insurance and trucking industries are pleading with legislators to do something about the state’s deer population. State transportation officials say deer caused 13 million dollars worth of damage to vehicles in 2001. But Fred Haskins, the general counsel of the Iowa Insurance Institute, says the problem is at least five times worse than that. The insurance industry estimates Iowans were paid at least 70-million dollars last year to cover the damage deer did to vehicles. Haskins calls that a conservative estimate, and notes the number of deer-related crash claims has increased greatly over the past three years. Just over 35-thousand car/deer crash cases were reported to insurance companies in 2002. Haskins says it’s an emotional subject, but legislators have to consider liberalizing the rules so hunters can kill more deer and thin the population. Scott Weiser of the Iowa Motor Truck Association says deer cause major damage to rigs, and careening trucks that’ve been hit by a deer pose a danger to other drivers.Weiser says truckers believe it’s time to thin the state’s deer herd to make it safer on the roads.
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