Sign warns drivers to slow down for turtles
Sign warns drivers to slow down for turtles A "Turtle Crossing" sign warns drivers just east of West Terre Haute, Indiana (AP photos)
Sign warns drivers to slow down for turtles
Lexile: 1290L

Assign to Google Classroom

State crews in Indiana have put up "Turtle Crossing" signs along a busy road running beside a wildlife area in Terre Haute.

The signs mark an area where turtles of various species are killed by vehicles as they try to cross National Avenue on the northern edge of the Wabashiki Fish and Wildlife Area just west of the Wabash River, said Amber Slaughterbeck, natural resource programmer for the Vigo County parks department.

Slaughterbeck said she hoped the signs will raise awareness among drivers about the danger facing the turtles that she first noticed in 2009 when she was a student at nearby St. Mary-of-the-Woods College. She told the Tribune-Star newspaper she found dead turtles all over the road.

"It was like a massacre of these turtles, so I pulled my car over and started walking along the guardrail," she said. "At that point, I thought I would save just a few turtles and see where it goes. I came back the next day and the next day and realized that there were a lot of turtles to be saved."

Slaughterbeck and volunteers have moved more than 2,000 turtles from the roadside to a nearby lake in recent years.

Indiana Department of Transportation spokeswoman Debbie Calder said the signs are temporary while the agency considers ways to protect the reptiles. She said the ultimate plan is to raise money for fencing and tunnels.

"It is not just the turtles. We have pulled river otters out of the road," she said. "We ideally would like a tunnel big enough to allow the river otters, the beavers and all the other animals to cross underneath."

Critical thinking challenge: Why are so many turtles near this busy highway?

Source URL:

Assigned 13 times

  • csandusky-Cla
    12/03/2014 - 12:11 p.m.

    turtles are cool and bout time they have a turtle crossing sign they are slow and need help crossing the streets i like turtles and stay cool turtle

  • tzavetsky-Cla
    12/03/2014 - 01:26 p.m.

    As if we need another reason to hit the breaks and cause an accident. And besides the obvious idiocy, who honestly thinks that people are actually going to read this as they focus on more important things. Say, um, maybe, NOT DRIVING OFF OF A CLIFF! Are there signs for a squirrel crossing? No, yet broads in their blue Prius decide a pest's life is more important than, maybe the 3 cars behind? I think it was a waste of time, metal, and reflective paint that could be used in producing stop signs.

  • EW2001blue
    12/05/2014 - 01:03 p.m.

    There are so many turtles by this highway because there is a wildlife area near the highway. Also there is a river by the highway where different species of turtles are located and the turtles travel there.

  • CharismaM
    12/05/2014 - 01:59 p.m.

    I think this is a great idea. Turtles are being recognized and now people know to be careful when driving on this highway. More turtles will be saved from being crushed by driving cars.

  • GDesiree-Cas
    12/05/2014 - 05:59 p.m.

    I think it's great to know that the state crews in Indiana put up "Turtle Crossing" signs along a busy road running beside a wildlife area in Terre Haute. Along many highways I constantly see "Deer Crossing" signs, it's amazing to see that the little turtles have their own sign to make drivers aware that it's possible they may be crossing the busy highway. Turtles are animals that get ran over on a daily basis and it's heart warming to think that other people care about their safety just as much as I do.

  • KRonald-Cas
    12/06/2014 - 04:37 p.m.

    I think it's great that the state crews care enough about the turtles to put up signs. Hopefully they will raise enough money to put up fencing and build tunnels. That would be the safest thing for the turtles. I don't think the signs will help too much... People drive too crazy, I don't think they are worried about turtles crossing the road.

  • JS2001basketball
    12/08/2014 - 08:49 a.m.

    This highway has a lot of turtles crossing because do to the Wabash River being west of the lake the turtles just crossover and get on the road

  • AllisonLogan1
    1/13/2015 - 05:36 p.m.

    A good thing is that drivers can see this sign and be sure not to hit an innocent turtle. A bad thing is turtles are killed on this highway by many cars. An interesting thing is that the department of transportation has a plan to raise money for fencing and tunnels.

  • karissa55
    1/21/2015 - 02:20 p.m.

    That is so nice for them because every day turtles are getting killed by cars so that will be really nice for the turtles :0 yeah for the people

Leave a comment
Leave a comment