Reflectors installed along road to deter deer

January 16, 2000|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

In an attempt to cut down on collisions between deer and vehicles, Howard County has installed 260 deer reflectors along a mile stretch of Montgomery Road, between Interstate 95 and Landing Road.

The reflectors, called Strieter Life Reflectors, have been tested in 17 states and Europe and are supposed to deter deer from crossing the road at night, when most accidents happen. They work by reflecting light from headlights at night in a way that motorists can't see, but in dim patterns that seem unnatural to the deer and other wildlife. The county recorded 25 deer-vehicle collisions on that stretch of road in the past year.

The reflectors are part of the county's effort to reduce friction between deer and humans and were recommended last summer by County Executive James N. Robey's Howard County Deer Task Force. The last of the reflectors was installed Wednesday, officials said.

The task force also supported more hunting of deer in the 1,000-acre Middle Patuxent Environmental Area. A hunt was conducted over a number of days in October, and 134 animals were killed.

County officials say the local deer population has grown so much that it has become a hazard and a nuisance, endangering motorists, eating plants and

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