Idaho Officials Mull Military Radar System to Reduce Vehicle/Wildlife Collisions


Officials have tried signs, blinking lights and dropping speed limits, yet animal/vehicle collisions on a troubled stretch of Idaho Hwy. 75 in the Wood River Valley continue to be a significant issue. And now, officials are mulling the use of radar technology, designed to protect military convoys, to alert motorists of nearby wildlife.

The Idaho Mountain Express reports that Sloan Security Technologies have pitched the idea of using their system - small rectangular radar atop a 25-foot-tall pole - that detects movement, much like Doppler radar used by meteorologists. SST officials say their radar would be combined with thermal cameras to also detect animals standing in the road. The technology has already been deployed on the Trans-Canada Highway in Newfoundland to prevent vehicle collisions with moose.

The Mountain Express reports that the system, all in, could cost as much as $45,000.

"That's a significant outlay, said Roger Olson, member of the Blaine County Wildlife Crossing Committee. "For that, we should be almost assured that it's going to do what we expect it to do."

The committee would advise the Idaho Transportation Department before any funding could be approved.