Finland introduced an app which warns drivers of reindeers on the road

Finland has developed a new smartphone application which will help drivers avoid reindeers on the roads and thus decrease the number of animals being killed in traffic accidents.

Around 300000 reindeers are roaming wildly through the wilderness in Laponia on the north of Finland. It is estimated that around 4000 of these animals are being hit and killed by cars every year. Reindeer keepers get high compensantions when their animals are killed.

Most of the accidents happen in winter when it is harder to spot reinders. There were a few unsuccessful methods to decrease the number of animals being killed, including spraying their horns with fluorescent colors, hanging flashlights around their necks and moving traffic signs warning drivers about the presence of reindeers according to their movement.

The newest attempt to deal with this problem is a mobile application called Porokelo, which means Reindeer bell in Finnish. The first data shows it is already showing results. Last month there were 300 accidents less on the Laponian road in comparison to last year.

This easy-to-use application enables drivers to see reindeers near the road with one click. By using the GPS technology, a warning zone with a perimeter of 1.5 kilometers is created, lasts for one hour and warns other users of the app which are approaching the area.

“If a reindeer is in the vicinity, the drivers slow down and when they exit the warning zone they can continue driving at normal speed.” – said the director of the local business center in Rovaniemi, the biggest town in Laponia.

The project commenced in June when one thousand free smartphones with the app were distributed free to professional drivers, including the drivers of trucks, taxis and buses.

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