Deer Deter could help prevent deer vs. car collisions - CBS46 News

Deer Deter could help prevent deer vs. car collisions

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Having problems with deer in your neighborhood?

If you've ever hit a deer, you know the damage it can cause.

A Savannah native is hoping a new version of an old product being introduced in the United States will help cut down on deer-car collisions.

One U.S. city is already testing it out.

A siren, solar power reflectors to keep it charged, and headlights. Those are the three basic working elements to the Deer Deter system.

"It doesn't hurt the deer. It doesn't scare them. It makes them aware of their surroundings. They hear the siren, look up and stop in their tracks," said Michael Williamson, a Deer Deter distributor.

Williamson lived in Savannah most of his life and had plenty of deer related run-ins.

So, he bought into the Deer Deter technology, which is just being introduced in the United States.

Europe has 10,000 units available. The U.S. only has 1,000 units.

"It definitely has a need, especially in south Georgia with all the deer," he said.

In recent weeks, WTOC has had calls and emails about deer issues in nearby communities. Some people even have asked if they are allowed to shoot the deer in their yard.

Williamson says Deer Deter could be a solution to the problem.

"We found that neighborhood associations could use it, small communities could use it and city and county governments could use it," he said.

"When headlights hit one side of it, it emits a blinking light and sound which would pause a deer that would otherwise be intending to cross the road. Deer can still cross the road. They'll just be scared when a car comes one way or the other," a park director with the city of Mentor, Ohio, said in a Youtube video explaining their use of the system..

Mentor has been testing the Deer Deter system since November. They've had 800 car vs. deer accidents since 2004 and say so far the system seems to be working, but it is a three year commitment and study.

Residents can buy Deer Deter, but Williamson said it won't keep deer out of your yard.

"The only thing it will do is stop the deer from crossing the roads," he said. 

However, he also believes the investment, versus the financial damage hitting a deer will do to your wallet, may be worth it.

"The repairs to someone's car, or someone's life, is well worth the cost," he said.

The city of Mentor told WTOC they have seen in one high incident area a noticeable decrease in accidents involving deer.  The deer seem to get used to the system and stay off the road when they hear the Deer Deter siren.

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