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Tips for keeping safe on the roads over winter

Wednesday, June 07, 2017   Posted in: Resources and Information By: Administrator With tags: transport, safety

Christchurch City Council Newsline: 6th June 2017

View in a car's side mirror of a snow covered landscape and road.The NZ Transport Agency is urging drivers to take care on the roads and plan ahead with winter starting to make its presence felt.

“Driving on parts of our highways during the winter months can be treacherous. Pre-planning is essential if drivers want to enjoy safe travel and avoid delays caused by road restrictions, road closures or vehicle breakdowns,” says Transport Agency Journey Manager Lee Wright.

“Drivers using the alternate Picton to Christchurch route via St Arnaud and the Lewis Pass/ Murchison will need to allow extra time and patience. A change has been made to the way the Lewis Pass (SH7) will be managed over the winter months.

“It will either be ‘open’ or ‘closed’ rather than having the usual restrictions of ‘chains essential’ and ‘no towing’. Extra Police presence will be on the route over the winter months.”

Carrying chains and knowing how to fit them will still be required when travelling on other South Island roads, for example, Arthur’s and Porters Passes.

“Allow extra time when driving during winter as weather and road conditions can change in a relatively short period of time. Know before you go and check weather and road conditions when travelling,’’ Ms Wright says.

“Extreme weather conditions such as ice, snow, fog as well as wet weather can hit quickly so people need to be prepared.”

Simple rules for safe winter travelling

  • Allow extra time
  • Ensure your vehicle is safe for winter driving
  • Drive to the weather conditions
  • Slow down and be prepared for unexpected hazards
  • Allow greater following distances between you and the vehicle ahead
  • Make sure your cell phone is well charged, check car charger also
  • Have blankets, snacks and bottles of water ready in case of emergency or breakdown.

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