The NZ Transport Agency is urging road users in the lower North Island to take care and be on the lookout for slippery roads, high winds and loose debris today.
Widespread rain has resulted in slippery roads, and winds are expected to pick up, rising to strong gales in some areas. Road users are urged to keep their wits about them as loose debris, slips or other hazards such as fallen trees could be just around the corner.
“Slippery and windy conditions make roads much more dangerous, as they can turn minor errors into big mistakes. We encourage everyone to factor in the wet and windy conditions by dropping their speeds, keeping their headlights on, and taking care on corners.”
He also stressed the importance of leaving plenty of room between yourself and the vehicle in front of you. Roads can be particularly slippery after periods of dry weather, due to a film of dust and other particles building up on the road.
“Heavy rain and wind can also result in debris on the road, so we ask people to keep their eyes peeled for any obstructions that could be just around the corner.”
Mr Owen says road users also need to be vigilant for pedestrians, who may be more likely to take risks such as when crossing roads.
Mr Owen says high winds pose a particular hazard to high sided vehicles such as vans, and to anyone on two wheels. Motorists are asked to take extra care around cyclists and motorcyclists, as winds can cause them to drift into one’s path without warning.
Contractors are monitoring the road network and will be acting quickly to address any hazards to motorists.
Mr Owen says motorists should allow extra time for their journeys, as the roads tend to be busier and slower during poor weather. He says people should plan ahead for their journeys, and check the Metservice website and online traffic information before heading out.
For up to the minute highway information, please visit www.nzta.govt.nz(external link) or follow their local nzta Twitter feed.