Who’s responsible for cleaning up dead deer?

Only On 7

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – There are about 750,000 deer in South Carolina, according to the state’s Department of Natural Resources. If you’ve driven anywhere along I-85, odds are you’ve probably seen quite a few dead animals along the roads, leaving many drivers wondering who’s responsible for the cleanup.

The state’s Department of Transportation said the dead animals aren’t just an eyesore, but potentially hazardous to drivers. It’s their job to keep our interstates and state maintained roadways clean.

But with 42,000 miles of roads and bridges to maintain, transportation officials said they need your help keeping pace.

“It’s sad. I mean… Nobody wants to see a dead deer,” said driver Erin Smiley. “I drive to Atlanta every week for work and so I’ve seen a ton on 85.”

They’re nearly impossible to avoid.

According to SCDNR, Spartanburg County has the third highest deer population in the state.

Driver John Stephenson said it’s made him more cautious on his morning commutes.

“I’m seeing dead deer all over the Upstate. Everywhere I go,” said Stephenson.

But it’s up to SCDOT to keep the roadways clear.

“Between our people, law enforcement, mowing contractors and the public, that’s pretty much how it gets taken care of,” Pete Poore, with SCDOT, said.

He said the department does routine sweeps. If you notice a hazard, give them a call.

“You will get a real person to answer your call,” Poore said. “And that person will take your information and in this case the location of the carcass and they will forward it on to the right county and to the right maintenance office.”

He added the request is then followed up a few days later to make sure the hazard gets removed.

Dead animals aren’t their only priority. Poore said you should alert the department if you see anything that could impede traffic, like busted tires or furniture.

And make sure you leave it to the professionals to get the job done.

“It’s a precarious situation,” Poore said. “So a member of the public doesn’t need to put himself or herself in danger. I would just get off the road.”

For drivers looking to report a road hazard, dial (855) 467-2368.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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