FARGO, N.D. — You know those deer signs you see from time to time? After three accidents involving deer, one North Dakota woman wants them moved.
Under the impression the signs are intended to tell deer where it’s safe to cross, she embarked on a (failed) mission to get the signs moved to lower-traffic areas. She wrote letters, called television stations, but no one seemed to want to hear what she had to say. Finally, she turned to Y94 Playhouse Radio in Fargo. They listened (and laughed) and then posted her call on YouTube.
The caller, named Donna, admitted she struck three deer on three separate occasions “shortly after I saw a deer crossing sign on the highway.”
The caller questioned why Minnesota and North Dakota departments of transportation would allow deer crossings to be on busy roads.
“Why are we encouraging deer to cross at the interstate? I don’t get it.
That’s a high- traffic area,” she said.
By now the radio hosts were trying to muffle their laughter. But if the caller heard them, it didn’t register. She continued…
“I understand that deer are animals and they need to cross the streets occasionally to survive and, of course, to find food, but it seems to me that it’s so irresponsible of us to allow these deer crossings to be in areas where these deer are so likely to be struck by oncoming traffic.”
At this point the radio hosts have lost the battle to keep their laughter under wraps. But, still, the caller proceeded to explain her concern…
“You’d think they’d put deer crossings in smaller towns like at a school crossing — that would be a safer place for them to cross,” she said.
Finally one of the hosts tried to explain the true purpose of deer crossing signs.
“You know deer crossings aren’t telling deer that it’s safe to cross there, it’s just more of like an alert for drivers so they know it’s like a high-deer population,” he said.
And then the caller said the unthinkable.
“They can direct the deer population anywhere they want to by moving that deer crossing sign. Why in the world would they place it on the highway? Or the interstate?”
She added that there are so many other places she could think of to place a deer crossing sign — her favorite location: at school crossings.
One of the radio hosts tried again…
“You seem to be under the misunderstanding that the deer are somehow attracted to the deer crossing sign,” he said.
Yup. She confirmed this.
“Well, yeah, the deer crossing sign is there to allow the deer to know that’s where they need to cross,” she said.
By this point the radio hosts had given up. The caller clearly wasn’t going to have a eureka moment on live radio. They politely ended the call with the promise to spread her message, which they did. Her call — posted to YouTube — has received nearly 2.5 million hits and counting.