Animals suffer as drivers fail to report accidents

Many drivers fail to report traffic accidents where wild animals have been involved and many of the animals suffer from their injuries even though a new law that was put in place last year to protect them.

According to the new rules the driver is required to report any incident involving an animal to police even if you don’t think the animal got hurt.

“But we still find animals, both alive and dead, along the roads that nobody has reported,” Lars Lundman, a police officer in Norrbotten in northern Sweden, told Swedish Radio News. “Other drivers call and tell us that an injured animal is standing near the road and ask us to put it out of its misery.”

According to Swedish Radio News all 21 police districts have similar experiences and confirm that many fail to report traffic incidents where animals have been involved. But in certain cases, Lundman adds, larger vehicles such as big trucks or busses could have been involved and they might not notice if they collide with an animal.

It is difficult to say for certain if new law, which was put in place one year ago, has had any effect on the situation since there is no accurate statistics but it is rare that a person who has failed to report the incident to police is fined or reprimanded.

The main reason why some drivers are eventually caught is that they have contacted police after they have spoken to their insurance company one or a few days after the accident, said Hans Erik Åkerlund, a police officer in Södermanland province.