Note: this letter was originally posted to thespec.com on June 14th 2016. You can view the original article by following this link.
Speed kills on Cootes Drive
RE: Road safety for animals, too
On a recent Sunday, beginning our first shift trying to protect turtles with the Dundas Turtle Watch, my team partner found a badly injured Snapping Turtle. The turtle had been hit by a vehicle on Cootes Drive. Her shell was cracked; leaving a long, half-inch wide gash exposing her vital organs. We did our best to help this beautiful creature by rushing her to specialized veterinary care.
“Our” turtle weighs almost 13 pounds (5.9 kilograms) and is estimated to be 50 to 75 years old. The vet explained that turtles feel pain at about the same intensity as humans. She is now heavily sedated and is unlikely to survive.
Why is this short stretch of urban roadway in a sensitive environmental area posted with an 80 km/h speed limit? Why has the speed not been dropped to at least 70, or better yet 60? It would save many animal lives every year, probably prevent some traffic accidents, and add only 15 to 30 seconds to the commute.
Steve Borsellino, Hamilton
(Editor’s note: The turtle has now died and her eggs are being incubated)
More information about the Dundas Turtle Watch may also be found at dundasturtlewatch.wordpress.com.