RAC Cars News


New Wild Boar Road Sign

By raccars Published

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Government ministers are looking at the possibility of creating a new road sign to warn drivers of the danger of wild boars. The new 'wild boar: beware' sign is a response to the growing population of the animals in the UK and their increasing danger to motorists. Only last week there was a fatal motorway crash on the M4 caused by a wild boar.

Areas of road where boars are known to be a problem could be fitted with barriers, to keep them off the road and signs, to alert drivers of their presence. Last week, Raymond Green was killed in a collision with a wild boar in Wiltshire on the M4. The creature was then hit by an articulated lorry. As a result, the road was closed for eight hours.

Crashes with wild boars are nothing new and other European countries, such as France and Germany, have signs in place alerting drivers to the presence of the animals in the area. The new British signs would take the form of a triangle with a red border surrounding a picture of a boar, similar in style to the signs used to warn motorists of the presence of wild horses, cattle, deer or other animals.

The population of wild boar in the UK is known to be increasing and John Hayes, the roads minister, has commissioned a report on the number and circumstances of accidents caused by the creatures. DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) figures suggest a wild boar population of around 1,000 in the UK but unofficial figures are estimated to be at least 10,000. Recent investigations revealed two wild boar colonies of up to 4,000 animals living in the Forest of Dean. Residents of the area in Kent reported their concern about the large number of boars there in 2013.

The Cinderford area in Gloucestershire has long reported problems with wild boar and last week one of Princess Anne's prized Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs was killed by a boar which broke into its pen on the Gatcombe Park estate.

A fully grown wild boar can weigh up to 20 stone, run at speeds of up to 30mph and jump to heights of nearly two metres. Once considered extinct in Britain thanks to aggressive hunting, wild boar have been reintroduced over the past 15 years. The boar are nocturnal and prefer to avoid humans but will become aggressive if threatened.

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