Concerns about the moose fence warning system:

moose fence signIf you’ve driven the TCH in Newfoundland lately you may have noticed strange pillars poking up along the roadside. The groups of pillars span just over a kilometer and are designed to warn drivers if a moose wanders onto the road. There is no actual “fence”, just a set of sensors that tell you if something crosses between them -much the same way that garage doors now have a sensor near the bottom to make sure nobody is under the door when it closes. While a similar system for moose may seem like a good idea, there are a few serious concerns with relying on technology like this. In fact, it seems that drivers will get little more warning than they would without the fence.

  1. The pillars are close to the road so you won’t know if a moose is outside, just about to cross.
  2. The flashing lights are only at the beginning of the fence. One you pass them you won’t know if a moose is crossing.
  3. A moose could enter the highway near the signs and the fence/detectors would miss it entirely.
moose sensor pillars along highway

Sensors along a 1.5km stretch between Clarenville and St. John's

These issues will be worsened by any false sense of security motorists may get. Add to that any times when the fence isn’t working (it’s already broken and awaiting repairs) and you’ve got a recipe for collsiions. Some people even claim that the fences aren’t even in the problem areas and would have been better situated elsewhere. Lastly, is paying for such a sophisticated system wise when it clearly won’t bet 100% effective? We aren’t sure of the total cost of the project, but given that paying a worker to drive wooden stakes is costly, a wireless solar powered fence must have been astronomical!
If you’ve got an opinion on the moose fence have your say in the comments below.

A "moose fence" pillar with solar panel.

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  2 Responses to “Concerns about the moose fence warning system:”

  1. Besides being very ugly to look at…..I wonder too, if these gadgets will actually be of any real benefit.

  2. The whole thing is a looney scheme to spend money. Did anyone honestly sit down and look at the cost of a kilometre of “fence” versus a kilometre of fence? With maintenance, I find it hard to believe that this system is any cheaper than installing fencing. That solution would be equally as ugly, but much much more effective.

    This is a test of the system’s effectiveness; and yet they haven’t built a single strip of it long enough to get any meaningful data.

    You know what would work better than this?
    Get yourself a warning sign that says something to the effect of “Moose on highway when lights are flashing, next 25kms” and a pair of flashing yellow traffic lights. No high-tech motion sensors or anything, just flashing lights. Turn them off and on at random, and repeat this every 25kms of highway. Don’t tell anyone that they’re just flashing lights, and make a big fuss about how great the system is. Make sure that most of them are on at any given time. Sit back and watch as motorists slow down for a few minutes near each sign… at least for the first week.

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