Drought-affected kangaroos moving closer to Wagga in search of water and food are increasing the risk of a serious crash, says a San Isidore resident.
Garry Coad, who has lived in the rural subdivision for about four years, fears motorists are not fully comprehending the risk as they drive past the places where the marsupials are gathering.
Mr Coad said the open spaces at Pomingalarna Reserve, Kapooka Reserve and the Wagga City Golf Club seemed to be attracting the marsupials, but the busy Sturt and Olympic highways were in the middle of these areas, which increased the risk of a crash.
He is appealing for better signs along those stretches of the highways to remind motorists of the danger posed by native animals moving around in search of water.
Mr Goad said driving past the carcasses of dead native animals on the side of the road was a daily occurrence along those stretches of road.
“Younger kangaroos, particularly, don’t seem to understand the dangers and they’ll be there trying to eat the grass right at the edge of the road,” he said.
“We really need a bit more caution.
“There’s a difference between country driving and city driving and I worry that someone who doesn’t know there are so many kangaroos around that area is going to have a really bad accident.”
It is a concern shared by the staff of the Silvalite Liberty service station, who regularly watch mobs of kangaroos moving around the area.
Manager Tim Towse and colleague Terri-Ann Baker said it was not unusual for a customers to come into the Sturt Highway business and say they had just avoided hitting a kangaroo.
“People do notice them. They come in a talk about their near-misses,” Mr Towse said.
“One thing I have noticed is that the kangaroos I see are getting bigger. It used to be just little ones, but as the drought goes on, the bigger ones are around now too.”
Roads and Maritime Services is responsible for kangaroo warning signs on state roads, including the Sturt and Olympic highways, not Wagga City Council.
“Roads and Maritime will investigate the need for these signs if advised of the location,” a spokesperson said.