- Make us your homepage -
Simplified ChineseTraditional Chinese

Latest Update

Finland introduces app to help drivers avoid killing reindeer

Updated: 12 26 , 2016 15:16
Xinhua Small  Medium  Large Email Print

HELSINKI, Dec. 26-- Finnish officials recently introduced a smartphone app to help drivers spot reindeer so as to reduce the number of the animals killed in traffic accidents.

An estimated 4,000 reindeer are killed by cars and trucks every year in the northern Finnish province of Lapland, where about 300,000 reindeer freely wander the wild and walk on the roads, according to the Associated Press (AP).

Officials had tried several methods to cut down on roadkills, including hanging reflectors on reindeer necks and using movable traffic signs, but these methods had little effect.

If a driver kills a reindeer, the compensation to the herder can be expensive and when female reindeer are killed, the herders will suffer a lot despite the compensation.

"Reindeer Bell", a smartphone app, is introduced by officials to help drivers avoid killing reindeer.

Roadkills often occur when drivers fail to spot the reindeer, especially during the dark winter months. Using Global Positioning System technology, the app allows drivers to create a 1.5-kilometer warning zone when they see any reindeer.

Other app users can also see the warning zone on their phone when they approach the area, so they will reduce speed when passing the warning place, which will effectively help drivers avoid hitting reindeer wandering on the roads.

Last month, there were 300 less roadkills in Lapland compared to the same month in 2015, which proves the effectiveness of the app.

However, one should not rely too much on the app because there might be a reindeer while there is no warning zone. The AP cited the app's codeveloper Maria Timo-Huhtala as saying "we have quite well covered the roads in Lapland with the system, but it's still not 100 percent."

Related Stories