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Deer Detection and Warning System
Minnesota Guidestar
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Deer Detection and Warning System

Project Description

MnDOT's focus for the Deer Detection and Warning System project is reduction of the number of deer/vehicle crashes (DVC). The Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Office of Traffic Safety states that 2,141 deer-vehicle crashes were reported in 2015, resulting in 6 fatalities.  All 6 fatalities involved a motorcycle.  Additionally, in 2015, there were 289 personal injury crashes and 1,846 reports of property damage crashes of $1,000 or more that involved deer.  Many more deer-vehicle crashes go unreported.


The deer population has consistently been increasing as the total miles traveled also increases each year; therefore, the problem will only worsen. Many methods have been tested to change the actions of deer as they approach a roadway, with very little success. The alternative is to alert drivers to act if a deer is near the road. 


A system was installed along Camden State Park, about 12 miles south of Marshall, MN, to ascertain if the number of DVC can be reduced. The system consists of two different parts; first a method to detect deer, and secondly to activate a flashing beacon on a standard deer sign to warn motorists of the possible danger so that they can slow down and check the right of way.