TOKYO – Japan is testing bullet trains fitted with speakers that emit barks and snorts to scare away deers, who wander near railway tracks to graze, to prevent collisions.
The sound effects, including sounds deers make to alert other deers and the bark of dogs, have reduced deer sightings near railway tracks by 45 percent during the test run, a spokesperson of the Railway Technical Research Institute told EFE on Wednesday.
The new system, which was tested for a month in a mountainous region in Japan, has proved to be more effective than previous measures that had included fences and anti-deer repellents.
The speakers first emit the snort of a deer for three seconds to attract the animals’ attention, followed by the bark of a dog for 20 seconds to help them identify the situation as dangerous and move away.
The RTRI studied areas where there are frequent collisions and developed a map that also takes into account the vegetation, landscape and topography of the area to determine the exact moment when the sound should be emitted.
The increase in deer population in Japan and the expansion of their habitats has led to an increase in the number of collisions between these animals and trains in recent years, affecting the punctuality of the trains and safety of the travelers.
In 2016, the Japanese transport ministry reported 613 deer-related accidents, which caused delays of 30 minutes or more for passengers.