The NZ Transport Agency is asking motorists to take extra care on South Island roads this week with heavy rain, hail and snow forecast throughout the week.
The Agency’s Canterbury/West Coast Journey Manager Lee Wright says June to August is the most dangerous time for driving on South Island roads, yet many motorists never take the time to prepare for their journey.
“This week we have heavy rain and gales set to hit Westland and Fiordland today and a southerly front forecast for Canterbury later this week, bringing with it rain, hail and snow down to 400 metres.”
Ms Wright says motorists need to be prepared for this weather. “We need everyone to drive to the conditions; to allow more time for their journey, to slow down, be prepared for unexpected hazards, to have greater patience and to make sure their vehicle is winter fit, as crashes can result in more serious consequences.
“Wet, slippery roads can be unforgiving of even the smallest mistakes and when travelling in snow, ice and frost it only takes a split second to lose control, the results of which can be disastrous.”
She says anyone travelling during the winter months needs to be prepared by getting their tyres checked, along with their brakes, windscreen wipers, lights and steering system. “If heading into alpine areas don’t just carry tyre chains but know how to use and fit them if needed.
“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, choose the safest route - even if it is the longest - and drive to the conditions.
“And remember road closures and restrictions are put in place for your protection and other road uses, 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:
Media Manager - Christchurch
NZ Transport Agency
T: 03 964 2885
M: 021 427 442
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.