Saturday Night Social: Hosted by a Finnish Smartphone App That Prevents Drivers From Colliding With Reindeer

This reindeer is actually Russian. Photo: AP

Apparently 4,000 of Finland’s reindeer meet their demise in traffic accidents every year. Given the relentlessly inappropriate nature of reality, it should come as no surprise that the rate of reindeer roadkill increases around Christmas time, when it gets dark early and becomes more difficult to spot the animals.

To remedy this, officials have started using a smartphone app called “Porokello” (Finnish for “Reindeer Bell”), which allows users to register reindeer spotted on the side of the road and alert other drivers within a one-mile warning zone.


Last month there were 300 fewer vehicle-induced reindeer fatalities in the Arctic Finnish Lapland, home to 300,000 reindeer in total

Maria Timo-Huhtala, who helped develop the app, warned the Associated Press that it is not foolproof. “It’s important for the drivers to understand that there might a reindeer even if there is not a warning [sic],” Timo-Huhtala said. “We have quite well covered the roads in Lapland with the system, but it’s still not 100 percent.”

I may not believe in Rudolph, or that any Christmas cake tastes good, but I do believe in decreasing people’s odds of accidentally murdering a reindeer during the holiday season. Merry whatever-you-celebrate and a happy hang-in-there.

[via Associated Press]

contributing writer, nights

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