Provincial police are using an unfortunate incident involving an opossum to remind motorcyclists about safety.
They say a driver and a passenger were heading south Friday on Belmore Line in Howick Township, northwest of Listowel, when an opossum wandered onto the roadway.
The bike struck the animal, and both people were “ejected” onto the roadway.
Police say the driver and the passenger were taken to hospital where they were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
They’re now taking the opportunity to remind motorcyclists to watch out for wildlife crossings, and to “stay the course” when a wild animal is spotted. Police say drivers should stay calm, brake firmly, and stay in the same lane. Swerving could make a driver lose control of their bike, they warn.
1. Watch for wildlife crossing signs. These signs are installed in locations where wildlife are known to frequently cross highways.
2. Obey speed limits. The faster you are going, the longer it will take to stop.
3. Make sure your headlights are clean. Use your high beams when it’s safe to do so.
4. Make sure your tires and brakes are in good condition and are working properly.
5. Don’t ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs or if you are tired or having problems with your vision.
6. Watch for groups of wild animals. If a deer runs out in front of you, chances are there are more nearby. Slow down and keep an eye out for more animals crossing the highway.
7. Stay the course. If you see a wild animal, brake firmly and calmly and stay in your lane. Swerving could make you lose control of your vehicle.
8. Use extra caution when riding your motorcycle at dawn and dusk in areas where wildlife may be present.
9. If you ride at night, watch out for the reflections of animal eyes. Animal eyes will brightly reflect a motorcycle’s headlight, making them easier to spot.
Provincial police did not say whether the opossum survived the crash.