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Keep an eye out for autumn’s ‘summer ice’ as rain sets in

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Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is encouraging people to take care if they need to travel for essential services or supplies, ahead of a wet forecast for Waikato and Bay of Plenty heading into Easter.

Systems Manager Rob Campbell says rain is forecast for the Waikato and Bay of Plenty tomorrow evening, continuing into the early hours of Thursday morning.

“While everyone should be staying safe and staying home at the moment to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, if you do need to travel to access essential services or supplies, please take extra care.

“After an extended run of warm, dry weather like we’ve had, any rain can result in slippery road surfaces, otherwise known as summer ice.

“Even a very small amount of rain can make the roads very slippery. In fact, it can be more hazardous than heavy rain because grime and exhaust particles that have built up on the road take longer to be washed away.

“The combination of light rain and summer grime often creates a slippery film on the road,” says Mr Campbell.

“We advise anyone who is driving in the rain or on a damp road to take extreme care. The slippery film on the surface of the road is invisible, so don’t assume it’s not there just because you can’t see it.

“We ask that drivers keep safe in these conditions by increasing their following distances, reducing their speeds and taking extra care.”

Mr Campbell also urged drivers to check the tread level and air pressure on their tyres.

“Properly inflated tyres with good tread are always a must for safe travel, but even more so in wet or slippery conditions.”

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