Oregon transportation officials warn of wildlife and pedestrians on roadway

Posted at 2:35 PM, Aug 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-20 16:35:18-04

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) warns travelers that there may be more wildlife and pedestrians along state highways due to thousands of visitors spread around rural Oregon ahead of Monday's solar eclipse.

"We are seeing an increase in the number of vehicle vs. animal strikes over the last few days," said ODOT District 17 Manager Paul Woodworth.  "Our John Day staff notes that with visitors encroaching on farmers' fields and camping areas, deer and other wildlife are being pushed into traffic at higher rates."

Over the past few days there have been 21 animal strikes along eastern Oregon state routes, with five strikes on Thursday, five on Friday and 11 strikes on Saturday.

Officials say various eclipse events around the state are also increasing pedestrian traffic on the highway shoulders as tourists move between camp sights, local communities and events.

ODOT advises motorists to be be extra cautious and keep an eye out for wildlife and pedestrians.