Drivers asked to reduce speed as horses are on road

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Wild horses have been in the Virginia Range for more than 100 years.

But in the last 10 years, their area to roam has become marginalized as development encroaches on their territory.

It's not uncommon for wild horses to continue on their historical path.
Only now the results are deadly; especially for them.

In the last two weeks, four wild horses have been killed in the area of Veterans Parkway and Rio Wrangler Parkway in the Damonte Ranch area.

“So I was notified last Thursday that a colt was hit on our roads here at Rio Wrangler. By Friday morning we had reader boards up to advise drivers to drive 35 miles an hour and that there are horses on the roadway,” says Naomi Duerr, a Reno City Council member who represents the area.

Unfortunately, another horse was killed in the same area on Sunday, even with those signs.

“Well right now it's not just seeing horses. We are telling you there are horses out there. So we are asking that you slow down. Slower than what the speed limit says. And be aware of your surroundings, and be prepared to have a horse walk into your travel lane,” says Lieutenant Scott Dugan with the Reno Police Department’s Traffic Division.

Duerr says the speed change could become permanent on Rio Wrangler depending upon engineering analysis.

That may come in 30 days.

Slower speeds on Veterans Parkway will take longer.

Additional improvement in the area, like additional lighting requested by residents, will probably take even longer.

At the end of Rio Wrangler she stops to talk to bikers and drivers about a gate. She says if people in the area would make sure the gate is closed, the animals could not get out and be injured or worse.

That may be easier said than done as one man in the area told us the last gate was recently replaced as it was heavily damaged by people trying to gain access.

Another deliberate act that's adding insult to injury, is people feeding wild horses.

As the sign right next to the access gate says, that's prohibited under Nevada State Law.