After months of campaigning for traffic calming measures to be introduced on the SS83, ‘Salviamo L’Orso’ are pleased to announce that the regional Road Safety Executive has finally agreed to implement the following changes to help reduce the number of animal road casualties in the National Park of Abruzzo;
New reduced speed limits,
Installation of road warning signs
Installation of reflective bollards.
Thanks to Salviamo l’Orso, by order of the Province of L’Aquila, the Road Safety Executive has reduced speed limits on key sections of the SS 83, between Gioia dei Marsi and Campomizzo (near Pescasseroli). These variable speed restrictions of between 50km/h and 70km/h have been located at sites where Bears and other wildlife are known to regularly cross the National Park roads.
Over the next 2 weeks these speed limits will be strictly enforced by the Local Police and Public Safety Organisations in the area. They will be using preventive measures which will include static speed cameras, laser speed guns and fixed penalty fines for any motorist found travelling too fast.
As you can see from the photographs, Salviamo L’Orso have already installed road signage, advising local drivers and tourists to slow down and to be aware that bears could be on the road ahead. The reflective bollards will deflect car headlights and have been successfully used across Europe to deter wild animals crossing roads at night.
Last year 2 Marsican bears were needlessly killed in road traffic accidents as well as many domestic and other wild animals. Studies have shown that these deaths could have been be greatly reduced if drivers had just simply slowed down.
A leaflet on these road safety changes is currently being produced and public meetings will be held in the municipalities affected by this project.
For more information on how you can help the endangered Marsican bear and support Salviamo L’Orso please visit: http://www.salviamolorso.it.
This project, fully funded by PATAGONIA and TIDES Foundation with 8,000 dollars, has been carried out by Salviamo l’Orso in collaboration with the Municipality of Gioia dei Marsi, the National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise and the Province of L’Aquila.
Grateful Thanks go to all our supporters including the Patagonia Store in Rome, Rewilding Apennines, Abruzzo ALTURA, Abruzzo Lipu, Federtrek and the petition of Francesco Mantero on change.org, requesting the lowering of the speed limit in this area of the National Park.
(Translated by Kevin Denham)