Chief Marc Haslam and the Swansea Police Department would like to remind motorists to remain vigilant while driving amid an increase in motor vehicle collisions with deer.
The Swansea Police Department responded to eight incidents of vehicles striking deer during the last week. These collisions have occurred in the areas of Route 195, Buffington Street, Sharps Lot Road, Wilbur Avenue, Oak Street, and Route 6.
According to the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, the fall season during late October to early December is the breeding season for white-tailed deer. As such, increased deer activity can occur during the early morning and evening hours.
Out of an abundance of caution, Swansea Police would like to remind motorists to be mindful of the increased deer activity during their early morning and evening hour commutes, to always obey posted speed limits, and to always follow the rules of the road.
Swansea Police advise motorists to not swerve to avoid hitting a deer as it may lead to more risk and damage than hitting the deer. Instead, motorists should stay alert and brake when they see deer in or near the road. Deer/vehicle collisions should be reported to the Environmental Police at 1-800-632-8075.
Other Important Safety Tips
The Swansea Police Department would like to share these additional safety tips, courtesy the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Safety Council:
Motor Vehicle Safety
- Always wear your seat belt — and wear it correctly. It should go over your shoulder and across your lap.
- Never drink and drive. If you see someone at a party or celebration who plans on driving while impaired, take their keys away and make arrangements for them to get home safely through a designated driver or ride-share program.
- Never eat, drink or use a cell phone while driving.
- Always wear a helmet, and look for the DOT sticker (which guarantees the helmet meets safety standards required by law). Never buy a used helmet.
- Choose a bike that fits you; “supersport bikes” have driver death rates about four times that of cruisers or standard bikes, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
- Invest in anti-lock brakes.
- New riders should take a motorcycle safety course, and experienced riders should take refresher courses after being off their bikes for a while.
- Never drink and ride.
- Drive defensively, especially at intersections, where half of all collisions occur.
- Assume you are invisible to other motorists and position yourself to be seen.
- Wear bright and/or reflective clothing that is durable and boots that cover the ankles.
If any resident ever has a question or concern, they are encouraged to contact the Swansea Police Department at 508-674-8464. In the event of an emergency, always dial 9-1-1.