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Winter journeys – are you prepared? Canterbury West Coast

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Driving on parts of our highways during the winter months can be treacherous, says NZ Transport Agency Canterbury/ West Coast Journey Manager Lee Wright.

The Transport Agency’s Winter Journeys(external link) campaign aims to encourage drivers to be safe and plan ahead to reduce the risk of crashes over the winter months.

“Pre- planning is crucial if drivers want to enjoy safe travel and avoid delays caused by road restrictions, road closures or vehicle breakdowns,” says Ms Wright.

“June to August is the most dangerous time for driving on our highways.

“When travelling the alpine passes, Arthurs Pass and Lewis Pass, as well as the Haast Pass (SH6) and Lindis/Burkes Pass (SH8), we advise drivers to carry chains from June to the end of August and know how to use them.

 “Extreme weather conditions such as ice, snow, fog and wet weather can hit within a relatively short period of time so people need to be prepared,” she says.

The Transport Agency’s Winter Journeys campaign encourages drivers to make a habit of checking road conditions in the way that suits them, for example:

 Simple rules for safe winter travelling:

  • ensure your vehicle is safe for winter driving
  • drive to the road and weather conditions
  • allow extra time
  • slow down and be prepared for unexpected hazards
  • allow greater following distance between you and the vehicle ahead
  • make sure your cell phone is well charged, check car charger also.
  • have blankets, snacks, bottles of water ready in case of emergency or a breakdown.
Lewis Pass SH7 at Lockingtons

This photo was taken this morning by Transport Agency contractors on the Lewis Pass, SH7, at Lockingtons, 5 km east of Springs Junction. At 9.30am the road temperature was -4.3 with ice forming and rain freezing as it hit the ground. The Transport Agency’s team is monitoring this site closely with grit and anti-icing compound applied.

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