The LIFE Strade project involves 5 Province administrations and 3 Regional administrations. The choice to involve both Provinces and Regions was made due to the fact that the Provinces are the authorities which have the direct responsibility of road management whereas the Regions will be in charge of reviewing the regulations for the management of traffic collisions with wildlife.
The project involves the following activities:
- Monitoring of wildlife mortality along selected roads;
- Experimentation of an innovative system to prevent the collisions between wildlife and vehicles;
- Development of a monitoring and management protocol to provide the responsible authorities with the adequate tools to manage the road kill problem adequately;
- Development of an awareness raising campaign for traffic participants, aiming at encouraging a more responsible driving in the most critical areas.
The monitoring of the wildlife mortality along roads is carried out during the first year of the project. In each Province four road segments have been identified where collisions with wild animal occur most often. These segments are inspected twice per month and the numbers of different species found dead are recorded. These data will be helpful to identify the most suitable sites for the installation of the prevention systems that will be tested during the project.
In each Province 3 prevention systems will be installed starting from June 2014 and their effectiveness will be constantly monitored. For this reason the field research activities started in the first year will continue throughout the project in order to compare the number of animals found dead before and after the installation of the prevention systems.
The problems observed so far in the management of the problem of the car collisions with wildlife are also due to a lack of clear, specific regulation. That's why a specific action of the project is dedicated to the development of an operative protocol, which will be defined commonly by all the provinces and regions participating to the project. The protocol will then be presented to the other Italian Regions and to the relevant Ministries.
Considering the extreme importance of the subjects dealt with in the project, great attention will be paid also to the dissemination of the achieved results. A best practice handbook regarding the prevention of wildlife-traffic collisions will be produced, and specific radio/TV spots will be broadcasted to promote a more conscientious driving style. In the last year of the project, a stand will also be set up at the Motor Show fair in Bologna, with the aim to publicize the results achieved and to raise the awareness of the general public about the targeted issues. A specific itinerant exhibit will be shown during fairs and other public events that will take place in the various areas of the project.
At the end of the project an international conference will be organized in order to further disseminate the achieved results and to compare them with similar experiences in Italy and abroad.