Infrared wildlife warning system on Highway 95 - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Infrared wildlife warning system on Highway 95

Idaho Transportation Department inspector Mike Cameron stands next to the new wildlife warning system on U.S. 95 at Moscow Mountain. Photo: Spokesman-Review Idaho Transportation Department inspector Mike Cameron stands next to the new wildlife warning system on U.S. 95 at Moscow Mountain. Photo: Spokesman-Review

MOSCOW, Idaho. - Idaho transportation officials think they've come up with a way to keep motorists and moose apart on a mountainous stretch of U.S. Highway 95 north of Moscow.
     
A solar-powered infrared detection system was installed this fall along a 2,200-foot section of the highway on Steakhouse Hill on the west side of Moscow Mountain.
     
At an elevation of 3,050 feet, the area is known for its migrating wildlife.
     
When deer or moose pass through the infrared beam, a flashing beacon goes off to warn drivers that animals may be on or approaching the roadway. The beacon runs for about 40 seconds each time the beam is interrupted by an animal.
     
The beacon is on top of a yellow warning sign that shows the image of a jumping deer.
     
Caution signs have been posted along the route for years, but the new system adds an immediate warning when animals actually move into the roadway or next to it.
     
Crashes involving animals can be deadly. Two Inland Northwest motorists have died this year after their vehicles collided with animals. One accident involved a moose on Interstate 90 near Liberty Lake, and the other involved a deer in Pend Oreille County.
     
The $200,000 installation was financed by federal economic stimulus funds.

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