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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited by Moderator)
It’s safe to say that every deer (and other wildlife of course) in utah is valued by many and their lives DO matter. So naturally, it infuriates me and I’m sure many others, to see so many piled up on the side of the road every year, particularly in the winter months. Is there any way for someone to make it a law (Snyder comes to mind on this) to have restitution paid out on the deer to the state if there is an insurance claim filed on the damages done to the car by the deer? If someone poaches or illegally kills a deer, there is always restitution paid in the fines for the value of the animal. Killing a deer should have some sort of financial burden for those responsible. In todays world with dwindling numbers, I think it’s only fair that if you want to be made whole on the damages done to your vehicle through insurance, then there should also be the value of the deer paid into the state, who would then use that money to put up more fences, crossings, signs, etc… i don’t care if it’s out of pocket for those who hit it or if the insurance pays on it, but somehow the public should be made whole on killing a resource that is struggling currently.

My neighbor, who is a complete moron (to put it nicely) has hit 4 deer just these last 3 months. They don’t really care. Really no big deal to them. They just file an insurance claim and move on with their lives. Seeing them act like they just ran over a squirrel made me think that maybe if there was some accountability for being dumb and not paying attention, it might save a few from being hit and killed every year. I know you won’t stop all of it, but if your rates went through the roof because you mowed over a herd of deer one night while texting and driving, it might get a few more to slow down and pay attention to what’s around them.

i don’t really know how any of that stuff works or if this was even possible legally. I’m just thinking out loud to see if someone knows what, if anything, could be done with this
 

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All insurance payouts to the vehicle slaughtered deer fund earmarked for highway fencing projects only.

I’m in!
 

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All insurance payouts to the vehicle slaughtered deer fund earmarked for highway fencing projects only.

I’m in!
Don't forget over and underpasses from one side of that fence to the other side of the road
 

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I think it would ultimately just translate to higher insurance premiums for all of us. I'm not opposed (I actually really like the idea), but I think it would be a hard sell.
 

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Opposed. Its not like its done intentionally.

The deer car collision phenomena is a long standing problem costing billions and killing millions of deer a year. Some of that is the cost of damage to commercial and military aircraft but we also lose a couple hundred humans a year to it.

The notion that individual drivers should bear the cost of that isn't justifiable. If we want someone to incur the cost it should be the federal, state and local government who designed and built roads through their corridors. And at least that would distribute the cost equally instead of just the unlucky people who have a deer be in the wrong place at the wrong time. But that means hunters feel entitled to tax dollars as a special interest group which runs contrary to many political ideologies.

Biologist and planners have been looking at this for ages. Its just with us unless citizens decide wildlife corridors are a worthy cause to invest in. I don't see that happening on a broad scale anytime soon.
 

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A few years ago I hit and killed a cow just outside grantsville. Since it was outside city limits, it is considered open range in Tooele county. I had to pay $700 to the owner of the calf, even though he admitted that someone had opened his gate and let his cows out on the highway which he didn't have a permit for grazing. The same should apply to big game, if it's open range,then the auto owner pays for the loss. No matter if it's livestock or any big game animal.
 

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Don't forget over and underpasses from one side of that fence to the other side of the road
Last I had read biologist had video proof to reconsider that approach. If I remember correctly predators eventually recognize the pattern change and utilize them for ambush potential and eventually the deer stop using them on the regular. But maybe they have data to show the net benefit from decreased road kill is still worth it. Its very possible my knowledge on it is outdated.
 

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I think it would ultimately just translate to higher insurance premiums for all of us. I'm not opposed (I actually really like the idea), but I think it would be a hard sell.
This!
Disclaimer I've driven many miles of highway without hitting a deer in areas that are known for collisions. Lucky or not I don't want to pay extra.
IMO the deer fencing in place is a positive but it is not maintained and as it deteriorates is not as effective.

Would I support more support? Yes I would.
 

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A few years ago I hit and killed a cow just outside grantsville. Since it was outside city limits, it is considered open range in Tooele county. I had to pay $700 to the owner of the calf, even though he admitted that someone had opened his gate and let his cows out on the highway which he didn't have a permit for grazing. The same should apply to big game, if it's open range,then the auto owner pays for the loss. No matter if it's livestock or any big game animal.
I had a Pharmacy manager in the store I managed that had cows they ran on family property on highway 20 between highway 15 and highway 89 just south of Beaver that was open range at the time.
He told me a couple of times that they made more money on the cows that got hit than the ones they finished out and sold. Thay didn't mind at all if a cow got hit.
 

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Last I had read biologist had video proof to reconsider that approach. If I remember correctly predators eventually recognize the pattern change and utilize them for ambush potential and eventually the deer stop using them on the regular. But maybe they have data to show the net benefit from decreased road kill is still worth it. Its very possible my knowledge on it is outdated.
All I know is that the crossings work. A section of US 191 between Montecello and Blanding was a death trap for deer until they put the underpasses in and from what I have seen of the videos of the one near Park City they work.

As for predators you have to realize that most of them are not used constantly by the animals but even if they were the huge reduction of animal collisions would be worth it. But even the predators that learn where they can find easy prey wouldn't kill as many as vehicles do.

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We were explicitly warned to be careful of cattle while running our fleet at night (common). Black cows on dark nights and all that. For me the worst was always the drive between I-70 and Hanksville. If I was smart I'd run a herd of black cows there and retire (sarcasm). Good gracious that drive is dark on a new moon.
 

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I think the idea has merit. I have driven my entire life (30 years since I got my license) up to this point in areas that have deer populations and never hit a deer and only pumped the brakes a handful of times as I remember. Then we have someone that has hit 4 deer in 3 months and doesn’t give a **** about it, we are talking about a real lack of concern on the deer killer of the highways part. Their insurance is protecting them for their disregard of protected wildlife in my view. That needs to be addressed somehow. Perhaps if you hit a deer within a certain distance of a deer warning sign you pay the price?


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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I just figured since it’s 2022 and you can burn down cities, loot, riot, steal and illegally protest over a human life taken prematurely, then maybe we could impose a restitution fee for precious wildlife taken by negligent people driving a car if they file an insurance claim for the damages. If you had to pay out of pocket and insurance doesn’t cover it at all, then that would really get some attention from people! Rates wouldn’t climb and we’d have some money towards wildlife crossings! Win/Win.
 

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We were explicitly warned to be careful of cattle while running our fleet at night (common). Black cows on dark nights and all that. For me the worst was always the drive between I-70 and Hanksville. If I was smart I'd run a herd of black cows there and retire (sarcasm). Good gracious that drive is dark on a new moon.
We had a crash on this exact stretch of road! The cows made it out unscathed, the cars not so much. Weird night.
 

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I drove Utah 24 down to Hanksville for a number of years and never did see any cattle out on it or even near it, this was when I was working out of Price.

Now if you want a scary road to drive for animals in Utah you need to take a trip down Utah 21 between Garrison and Milford. I was out there a few years ago and a friend told me of one of his relatives who took out a cow, both were doa. Then when I was going down it a few days later at 4 am I had a beautiful wild horse come up out of the ditch and decided to cross the road using my trucks headlights to see. I still don't know how I missed that horse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I smoked a rogue cow one morning headed duck hunting by my moms house in payson. That thing literally came out of nowhere. I thought I had hit a horse, I just saw a flash of black and then had an airbag going off in my face. Even with the area not open range, the owner and their insurance still thought I should be held responsible for paying for the cow. The guy did offer to pay me 3k to “help repair the bumper”, but that’s all he felt he owed me. 7 months, many phone calls, some letters from attorneys, and 18k later, they finally paid out on the repairs for the truck. It was a nightmare. 0/10 for the whole experience. Do not recommend.
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I drove Utah 24 down to Hanksville for a number of years and never did see any cattle out on it or even near it, this was when I was working out of Price.

Now if you want a scary road to drive for animals in Utah you need to take a trip down Utah 21 between Garrison and Milford. I was out there a few years ago and a friend told me of one of his relatives who took out a cow, both were doa. Then when I was going down it a few days later at 4 am I had a beautiful wild horse come up out of the ditch and decided to cross the road using my trucks headlights to see. I still don't know how I missed that horse.
I won't drive Utah 21 in the dark.
 

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Eliminate car/wildlife accidents is simple.... Introduce the wolf into these areas and there goes the problem of deer/elk getting hit on the highways. It's worked great on MT highway 200 along the Clarks Fork river.

The state can't mange a healthy herd now. How many thousands have they invested into high fences along the roadways? All they have managed to do with this, is stop the migration of the deer to their winter range. The mind set of "trapping" them in the deeper snow and then ask "why are the herds diminishing"? Really???? one with a degree in animal biology has to ask that?

Paying the state for restitution of an animal struck by a vehicle is stupid IMO. The state should pay me for repairs to my vehicle because they didn't keep THEIR animal at bay. No different than your dog biting the kid next door. It's your fault because you own the dog and you didn't take measures to ensure the safety of the neighbor.
 

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We could just add extra fees to each unit based upon how often those deer cause collisions. That way the state has a fund to pay out to drivers and insurance.


:p
 
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