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Proposed bill would require Department of Conservation to pay up for deer accidents

March 12, 2003
By: Matt Talhelm
State Capital Bureau

The Department of Conservation says it shouldn't have to pay if a deer hits your car. But one lawmaker is sponsoring a bill that would force the state to pay up.

Matt Talhelm explains from Jefferson City.

Each year there are more than 8-thousand deer-related accidents in Missouri.

The bill would make the Department pay two hundred and fifty dollars to each driver who has an accident with a deer.

Supporters of the bill say the Department of Conservation hasn't done enough to reduce the deer population - especially in urban areas.

But Department Assistant Director Gerald Ross says even with population control, hitting deer is every driver's risk.

Actuality:
RT: 13
OutCue: "..acceptable level."
Contents: "We all face certain risks everyday we get on the highway. It could be a basketball that rolls out in front of us, or it could be wildlife. It could be any sort of things. Our role is to try to keep that deer population at an acceptable level."


Ross says regulations prohibiting hunting near cities keeps the deer population high. In Jefferson City, Matt Talhelm, KMOX News.


The next time you see a deer in your headlights, it could be the state paying up for damages to your car.

Matt Talhelm explains from Jefferson City.

With 283 collisions between deer and cars each year, St. Louis County ranks second highest in the state.

A proposed House bill heard today in Committe would help St. Louis motorists and others across Missouri pay for damages caused by deer crashes by handing out two-hundred-and-fifty dollars from the Department of Conservation.

Bill Sponsor Representative David Pearce of Warrensburg says the Department needs to do more to control the deer population - especially in urban areas.

Actuality:
RunTime: 13
OutCue: "..out there."
Contents: The intent of this bill is to send a message that we're having too many accidents - that deer are in areas where there's a lot of population centers. It's up to the Department of Conservation to come up with ideas to help curtail the deer population out there.

St. Charles County also ranked in the top ten highest percent of deer collisions. Chesterfield was the city with the third highest number of accidents. In Jefferson City, Matt Talhelm, KMOX News.


Two St. Louis area counties rank in the top ten highest number of deer collisions, and a proposed bill in the House could make the state pay up. Matt Talhelm has more from Jefferson City.

St. Louis and St. Charles Counties make up 8 point 6 percent of the more than 8 thousand accidents between vehicles and deer each year.

The bill heard before a House committee Wednesday would make the Department of Conservation pay 250 dollars to motorists involved in deer strikes.

The bill's sponsor, Representative David Pearce of Warrensburg says the Department hasn't done enough to slow deer populations in urban areas.

He hopes his bill will hold the Department more accountable for the deer population - especially around cities.

Actuality:
RunTime: 15
OutCue: "...deer population."
Contents: "They are the steward of the deer herd and they take responsibility for the deer all the way up to when they cause agricultural damage or economic damage to our vehicles. I think they should take more responsibility for the rising deer population.

The Department estimates that the deer collision pay-outs would cost around two million dollars per year. At the Capitol, Matt Talhelm, KMOX News.