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Warning: beware of wildlife on the road

TRAGIC SCENE: The aftermath of a collision between a kangaroo and a bike on Wivenhoe-Somerset Rd that killed an Ipswich man.
TRAGIC SCENE: The aftermath of a collision between a kangaroo and a bike on Wivenhoe-Somerset Rd that killed an Ipswich man. Kate Czerny

THE death of a motorcyclist whose bike hit a kangaroo has renewed the warning for drivers to watch out for animals on or near roads.

The 42-year-old Ipswich man was killed after his motorbike hit a kangaroo on Wivenhoe-Somerset Rd about 9am last Sunday.

Ipswich Inspector Keith McDonald said it was a reminder of the potential danger posed by animals around roads and highways.

"You could say it's a freak circumstance because it was a freak circumstance but it's a reminder that just because it's a country road, it doesn't mean conditions are perfect," McDonald said.

"With the good weather conditions we've had until lately, the kangaroos are big, robust and they can do damage.

"Particularly on country roads, people need to understand with the current weather conditions we've got, food for animals is substantially reduced ... frost has killed off what was left of grass

"Animals come to roads for two things - food and because it's warm.

"In the morning and the afternoon are the times people need to be most careful.

"The time of the day it's happened is when they are looking for food and warmth."

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He said the overall road safety message remained - drive to the conditions.

"For instance, it may be a 100kmh zone but if there's four foot of grass on the side of the road, you have to be even more careful," he said.

The RACQ warned that animals being unpredictable can create a problem for people when driving.

The RACQ says drivers should be cautious of stock near creeks and rivers and in rural areas. Unfenced cattle are common and a danger at any time.

Night time can create an extra problem if the headlights of an oncoming vehicle cause an animal to panic and freeze in the middle of the road. Some animals are harder to see at night due to their colour.

Safe Drive Training (SDT) says if you are warned of animals in the area, slow down, be alert and look ahead.

If you see an animal on the road, approach slowly and be prepared to stop. Do not rev the engine or sound the horn as this is likely to startle the animal and could cause damage to vehicles.

SDT says if animals appear suddenly in front of you, resist the urge to swerve because that can make you lose control of you car.

It is far better to brake in a straight line than to swerve and potentially leave the road and overturn your car.

Topics:  fatal traffic crash, racq




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