The calls for higher safety follow increased cattle numbers using stock routes due to dry weather conditions and limited feed options in some areas.
Central Highlands Mayor Kerry Hayes said some road users are not aware of how to behave around stock using roadways.
‘Particularly for visitors to the region, it’s not a common thing to drive through 1000 head of cattle, the mayor said.
‘Drovers are obliged to put road signs out on the road well in advance of the mob and to keep cattle off the road and bunched up as much as they can but, as with most animals, things don’t always go to plan.
‘Cattle are unpredictable and calves even more so. Drivers need to be patient, slow down to a crawl, stay off the horn and be prepared to stop and wait if necessary.
‘The stock actually has the right of way on the road.
‘What we should all remember is that these drovers and cattle owners have their stock in our region to basically ensure they survive. I’m sure if they had an alternative they would all rather be enjoying their own properties and the comforts of home.
‘I’d like to think that Central Highlanders welcomed the drovers and their cattle and showed them every amount of courtesy,’ the mayor said.
There are about 3000 head of cattle in the Central Highlands region this month as three mobs are moving north and south from Rolleston and Springsure.