Canary in a coal mine: motoring down peafowl

It is not just cyclist that feel like roadkill. Motorists are mowing down peafowl in Narrabundah close to a Primary school. Will a child be next?

We seem to get used to deaths on the roads as though it has to be that way. For every death, there are many more injuries. Are we so fond of speed that we have become indifferent to the destruction, so impatient that we have no time to consider others?

“strutting like a peacock” Photo by Pille Kirsi on Pexels.com

Birds of a feather flock together

Vulnerable road users are the type of road participants that do not get up again when mowed down by a motor vehicle. When hard steel meets bone, it is clear what will break. Ducks, Peafowl, cyclists and children should not be crash tested but too often are. Ducks are small, so it is perhaps can be overseen. Peafowl are big birds, about as tall as a small adult, and brightly coloured birds, certainly more brightly coloured than many uniformed school children. They are about the same weight child and similarly dead when struck by a motor vehicle, travelling at just 40 km/h.

We should be worried. 😦 Peafowl mowed down beside a primary school is an ill omen for worst things to come. Are we smart enough to drive slower, be more careful and be more mindful?

Photo by Abhishek Tanwar on Pexels.com

Canaries in a coal mine

At one time, miners would take canaries into the coal mine as the birds could “detect” bad air and would suffocate before the miners. They were the warning before a greater disaster. A warning best heeded. Miners learnt to keep an eye on the canaries and react while they still could.

The recent article “Do we have to wait until it’s a child that is hit?”: peafowl deaths spark further calls to slow down (The RiotACT, 27 February 2021) would suggest the ducks and peafowl are sending us such warnings now in Narrabundah. Roadkill is found regularly opposite Red Hill Primary School.

““Feathers were scattered everywhere, and Penny was killed a very short distance from a stop sign in wet conditions,” Mr DeWan told Region Media. “Across the road is Red Hill Primary School. “If it’s some little kid on a bicycle who comes out behind a car, they’re gone. Does the government have to wait until something like that happens?””

Do we have to wait until it’s a child that is hit?”: peafowl deaths spark further calls to slow down, The RiotACT, 27 February 2021.

““These birds can easily be seen, so how much longer do we have to wait until it’s a child that is hit?”” “There are also reports of ducks being hit by motorists in the area as well.”

Do we have to wait until it’s a child that is hit?”: peafowl deaths spark further calls to slow down, The RiotACT, 27 February 2021.

“A community group at Narrabundah is urging the ACT Government to consider an urgent public information campaign for motorists to slow down after seven peafowl were hit by cars in the past eight months, reducing the population from 30 to 23 birds.”

Do we have to wait until it’s a child that is hit?”: peafowl deaths spark further calls to slow down, The RiotACT, 27 February 2021.

“What we’re seeing is the population of our peafowl is being slowly wiped out, not necessarily by deliberate human activity, but by sheer indifference to the speed laws and thinking about slowing down because these birds are here, or maybe a child.”

Do we have to wait until it’s a child that is hit?”: peafowl deaths spark further calls to slow down, The RiotACT, 27 February 2021.
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Motorists or dumb ducks?

“Mr DeWan said there was a definite attitudinal problem among some motorists travelling at speed on suburban streets and he welcomed calls for a public education campaign for motorists to reduce their speed in areas where the speed limit is 50 km/h unless marked otherwise.”

Do we have to wait until it’s a child that is hit?”: peafowl deaths spark further calls to slow down, The RiotACT, 27 February 2021.

One would hope that we are a little smarter than dumb ducks and have learnt something from the carnage on Canberra roads in 2020. 50 km/h is too fast for many suburban streets and lower speed limits, speed reduction and traffic reduction measures best considered.

I would hope the ACT Government and the drivers of Narrabundah are cocky enough to take action. 🙂

Photo by Chris F on Pexels.com

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