Possums are a pest, many Kiwis will hit them on the roads deliberately.
Possums have an unfortunate habit -from their perspective- of sitting up on their hind legs when they see headlights.
For an adult possum this brings them about shoulder-height to most cars' front fender, perfect for smooth decapitation whilst avoiding the need to clean the gore off your car caused by running them over with a wheel.
(This behaviour was wonderfully parodied in the "Look! Two Moons!
" television advertisement back in the 90's.)
Even though they're pests and Kiwis will go out of our way to kill them, possums know they will be accorded every dignity in death.
Certainly, it is absolutely inconceivable that a couple of Auckland Transport employees baked to the eyeballs in one of those excruciatingly slow-moving roadmarking vehicles would desecrate the dead by painting straight over the top of a corpse