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18.04.2017

Bear killed in road accident – Requirement for additional measures on the road KA45 axis

Another road accident took place on Saturday, 15 April 2017 at 23:20, where an adult female bear was killed at the vertical axis of ‘Siatista – Kastoria-Koromilia’ section of the Egnatia Highway (approximately 3 km close to the junction of Vogatiskos). The animal managed to enter the highway and walked along the fencing until it was hit by a car. According to the driver, who was not injured by the collision, two preceding vehicles had managed to avoid the bear which was killed instantly as it suffered comminuted fractures to the skull and pelvis while the front end of the car was totalled.
After being notified about the accident by the Kastoria Traffic Department and the Grevena Technical Center, members of KALLISTO and ARCTUROS arrived at the scene as members of the Emergency Response Team in the context of the Common Ministerial Decision No. 104180/433. An officer of the Kastoria Forest Directorate and a vehicle of the Egnatia ODOS SA also arrived at the scene.
The fact that such accidents involving animals still take place at the particular road axis is very unfortunate while:
(a) since 2015 EGNATIA ODOS SA has installed a reinforced ultra-high fencing along the axis that contributed in the sharp reduction of road accidents involving bears,
(b) 15 warning signs have been placed along the axis by the Kastoria Region Authority and KALLISTO as part of the LIFE ARCTOS KASTORIA programme (09NAT/GR/000333) which was concluded in 2015 as well as by EGNATIA ODOS SA, and,
(c) informative material has been repeatedly distributed at the toll stop of Polimilos.
KALLISTO and ARCTUROS have pointed out to EGNATIA ODOS SA that as long as there are 3 junctions without any fencing along the highway, there will always be the hazard of new road accidents. It is reminded that between 2009 and 2015, 22 bears have been killed in such accidents at this section of the road. The environmental Organisations of ARCTUROS and KALLISTO appeal to all involved authorities such as:
(1) The Kastoria and Kozani Traffic Departments for the regular speed check of oncoming vehicles and the imposing of relative sanctions laid out in the law for the drivers that exceed speed limits,
(2) The EGNATIA ODOS SA for the adoption of additional measures for the protection of the drivers and of the wildlife on the KA45 axis, such as the constant monitor of the junctions (through cameras, movement detectors and other) and the timely notification of oncoming vehicles through appropriate means (e.g. flashing warning signs for drivers).

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