Stop littering to reduce accidents

Wednesday, December 25, 2013 - 19:00

In Alaska, there is a wide variety of wildlife that we love to encounter and see. However, more and more animals are being attracted to roadsides due to people throwing garbage out onto the road.

Lawmakers have set penalties against littering. However, has anybody taken into consideration the number of animal deaths caused by accidents? Animals are attracted to the side of the road by the cans, cups and food containers as well as bags that carelessly get tossed.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there are 300,000 reports of wildlife-vehicle collisions every year. “However, most researchers believe that wildlife-vehicle collisions are substantially under-reported,” according to a 2008 DOT report.

If we were to clean up the roads and keep them clean, we would also be keeping ourselves safe from the dangers of car-to-animal collisions. Why wouldn’t someone make the extra effort to toss the garbage in their car in a waste bin at their next stop if it meant saving lives?

This is a serious problem that needs to be dealt with immediately before the next car-to-animal collision not only steals a human life but the life of an animal who was just chewing on a cup lid.


— Emily Caudell, Eagle River High sophomore

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