Slow Down!

Rabih Elkhodr

Lebanon is one of the countries that are known for their beautiful scenic views; however, there are some views you wish you can turn a blind eye to. Whatever your destination is, take a minute and look out of your car and onto the road. Every day, cats, dogs and other animals are run by cars on the highways; some die on the spot while others are doomed to suffer from serious injuries.

 Many Lebanese organizations like “Animals Lebanon” and BETA are trying to reach out to stray animals by providing them with various medical treatments and finding them proper shelters; nonetheless, such initiatives do not ensure that these animals do not cross highways or get killed as a result.

Countries like Canada, Germany and France pay special attention to this issue. They have created the Wildlife Collision Prevention Program in order to protect wildlife and reduce, if not prevent, the collisions that might occur on the road. The program uses advertisements to raise awareness about not exceeding speed limits as that might result in wildlife-vehicle collisions and can endanger both animals and drivers.

Recently, the Lebanese government has advocated and supported legislations regarding animals’ welfare. President Michel Aoun has signed the first animal welfare bill into law to guarantee that those animals are protected from harm. However, and according to the International Cooperation of Road Safety in Lebanon, the rate of animal-vehicle collision remains very high. According to YASA’s website, Lebanese highways and roads are not safe because of washed out road signs and the lack of streetlights that increasingly contribute to wildlife-vehicle collisions. One solution to this issue can be building fences to prevent animals from stepping into roadways and to decrease the chances of accidents.

All in all, wildlife-vehicle collisions is a serious problem that impacts drivers’ and animals’ safety. There are numerous measures that can be adopted to reduce the occurrence of such incidents. In the meantime, it is important that all drivers respect road-safety measures such as abiding by the speed limit, putting the seatbelt, and keeping their eyes on the road at all times.

- Lena Khalil
  Communication and Social Media Student