Proposed legislation would help prevent animals from being killed in traffic crashes

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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV)— There is proposed legislation in Virginia's General Assembly to help protect wildlife and those at the Wildlife Center of Virginia feel it's a good idea.

VDOT said the deer fencing is effective at keeping deer off the interstate in western Albemarle County. | Credit: NBC29

If passed, the bill would have Virginia's Department of Transportation consider the possible impact of new roads on animals in the area. If it would impact wildlife corridors, the bill states VDOT should consider ways to help prevent any harm to animals that would be caused by a new road.

Ed Clark, the president of the Wildlife Center of Virginia in Waynesboro, said thousands of deer are killed by cars every year in the state. If the bill is passed, it would help keep animals and people safe.

"That's a huge cost to the insurance industry. It's a huge risk for health and human safety and it takes quite a toll on the deer," Clark said.

Clark added anything from a tunnel, under a road or a bridge over a highway could be considered during planning.

In western Albemarle County, VDOT installed fencing along parts of Interstate 64 to help prevent deer from crossing onto the highway. Clark said that has been considered a very effective option.