Transport officials are urging rural property owners to check their fences with high numbers of wandering stock on Canterbury roads.
The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) said in the past three months there have been 65 incidents of wandering stock reported on state highway roads across central and north Canterbury, with 17 of these on State Highway 75, the busy road to Akaroa/Banks Peninsula.
- Heat stress danger for stock as temperatures soar
- Stock craving water and shade as relentless heat continues
NZTA's Canterbury journey manager Lee Wright said wandering stock pose serious safety risks to all road users, not only on the state highway network, but also on local roads.
"When animals are wandering on highways, they present a significant hazard for anyone driving and there is the potential for serious injury, and even fatal crashes as a result," she said.
Rural property owners are liable for any damage caused by their animals and if they cause a crash and negligence is proven, the livestock owner may be prosecuted.
"It is important property and livestock owners are aware of their responsibilities under the law and check to ensure their farm animals remain adequately fenced in - for the sake of the animals and all road users," said Ms Wright.