Reindeer Crash Warning App Now Ready for Download

New app provides real-time data about reindeer on roads, in an effort to cut down on accidents.

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File photo of reindeer in Saariselkä, Lapland / Credit: News Now Finland

A mobile phone app developed in Lapland to warn users of reindeer on the roads, is now available for Android and iPhone.

The ‘Porokello‘ app was tested last year on a limited scale for truck drivers who could alert others when they found reindeer wandering on the road.

It aimed to cut down on traffic accidents in Lapland, saving animals and people.

Real time reindeer data comes from Lapland truck drivers / Credit; Porokello

The new app is based on real-time data that comes in from more than 1,800 professional drivers in the north of Finland – taxi companies, long distance bus drivers, truckers, and emergency responders.

“We have done research with the professional drivers who have been using it since June 2016” Porokello’s project manager Maria Timo-Huhtala tells News Now Finland.

“Sixty-three percent of the drivers reported that they have avoided a collision with the reindeer […] hundreds of accidents have already been avoided” she says.

There are an estimated 300,000 reindeer roaming around northern Finland, many of them onto roads where they pose a danger to themselves and to traffic. Previous methods to warn drivers of the reindeer danger included putting warning signs at the side of the road, and painting antlers with reflective paint. Neither strategy proved to be effective.

Developers hope their new app will be a better solution.

“The new app is for everyone who has Android or Ios phone, for the public, and they get the warnings” says Maria Timo-Huhtala.

Porokello app gives a warning if you get close to reindeer on the roads / Credit; Porokello