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Motorists urged to take extra care on southern roads

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The NZ Transport Agency is asking motorists to take extra care on Southern roads with a wintry blast forecast in the next two or three days.

The Agency’s Otago/Southland Journey Manager Graeme Hall says June to August is traditionally the most dangerous time for driving on roads in the Otago/Southland region, yet many motorists never take the time to prepare for their journey.

“This week we have heavy rain and gales forecast to hit many areas, bringing with it rain, sleet and snow down to 400 metres.”

Mr Hall says motorists need to be ready for this weather. “We need everyone to drive to the conditions; to allow more time for their trip, be prepared for unexpected hazards and ensure their vehicle is winter fit, as crashes can result in more serious consequences.

“The margin for error on wet, slippery roads is tiny. Even the smallest mistakes when travelling in snow, ice and frost can in a split second, see you lose control of your vehicle, with often disastrous results.”

He says anyone travelling during the winter months needs to be prepared by getting their tyres, brakes, windscreen wipers, lights and steering system checked. “If heading into alpine areas don’t just carry tyre chains, know how to fit them.

“Most important though is to plan your journey. Check the weather forecast, consider if you really need to travel when heavy rain, ice and snow are forecast, check road conditions and take the safest route - even if it is the longest.

“And remember road closures and restrictions are there for your protection and other road users, so please observe these.”

For the latest on road information freephone 0800 4 HIGHWAYS or visit the Transport Agency’s website: www.highwayinfo.govt.nz(external link)

For more information please contact:

Bob Nettleton
Senior Communications Advisor
NZ Transport Agency

T: 03 951 3005
M: 021 954 928
E: bob.nettleton@nzta.govt.nz

The NZ Transport Agency works to create transport solutions for all New Zealanders - from helping new drivers earn their licences, to leading safety campaigns to investing in public transport, state highways and local roads.

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