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SH5 Napier -Taupo Road closed due to snow

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The NZ Transport Agency advises motorists that the Napier-Taupo Road (State Highway 5) is closed due to snow.

Contractors are currently using snow ploughs to try and clear the roads however the closure is expected to remain in place for some time and motorists are advised to consider delaying unnecessary  travel. 

Snow falls  are also affecting parts of State Highway 1 near Wairakei, north of Taupo. The road is currently open to traffic but extra care is required when travelling on the route.   

The Met Service has forecast more snow and icy conditions for the remainder of the week and driving conditions in parts of Ruapehu, Taupo and the south Waikato, as far north as Tirau are likely to be hazardous. 

The Transport Agency’s Waikato journey manager, Liam Ryan says contractors will be working to clear SH5 and will monitor conditions on roads in the region throughout the day and into the evening. 

“Currently these icy conditions are forecast to last for the next few days across the Waikato including areas to the north of the Central Plateau,” he says.

“Motorists travelling in or through the Ruapehu, Taupo and South Waikato districts should check conditions before travelling this week particularly overnight and during the morning when ice is most commonly found.

“It is important that people slow down, allow more time for their journey, drive to the conditions and be prepared for unexpected hazards in this type of weather. 

You can find the latest information on road conditions at  www.onthemove.govt.nz(external link), www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic(external link), or by calling 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49).”

The Transport Agency’s top winter driving tips

  • The winter climate can be severe, with heavy rainfall, high winds, ice and snow. Take your time, be patient and drive to the conditions.
  • Slow down. It only takes a split second to lose control in wet or icy conditions, and keeping your speed at 10kmh below the legal limit will greatly reduce your risk of a crash.
  • Black ice or frost can make for very slippery road surfaces, often in the early morning and any time the road is shaded.
  • Watch your following distance. Nose-to-tail crashes are far more common in wet weather, and stopping distancescan nearly double on wet roads. Keep at least a 4 second following distance between you and the vehicle in front.
  • Sunstrike is most likely to hit you at sunrise or sunset. Keep your windscreen clean – inside and out – and be ready to use your sunglasses or sun visors. If you can’t see, pull over and wait till you can.
  • It pays to stick out like a sore thumb in winter, so turn on your lights whenever there’s heavy cloud cover, fog or rain. You’ll be much more visible to other vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians – especially at intersections – and you’ll probably be able to see better too.
  • And finally… always wear your seat belt.
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