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Winter journeys: Be Safe. Plan Ahead.

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Winter has definitely arrived in New Zealand, complete with ice, fog, rain and snow, which can add up to treacherous conditions on the road.

But winter journeys can still be safe journeys with some easy and simple planning and preparation, says NZ Transport Agency Senior Journey Manager Neil Walker.

“Whether you’re hitting the road for a Kiwi winter holiday or just trying to stay warm getting from A to B, winter trips can be safe trips by planning ahead and doing the simple things right.

“Check the latest weather and travel conditions before you start your trip and on breaks throughout your journey. You can find the latest information at www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz or by calling 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49). If extreme weather or treacherous road conditions are forecast, consider whether you really need to travel, or if you can delay your trip.

“Remember that driving on roads that are exposed to winter weather conditions can tricky at the best of times, and build in extra time for your trip. Conditions can change quickly in winter and safe driving speeds can be well below the speed limit at times.”

For more easy tips for safe winter driving, including how to get your vehicle ready and how to put on snow chains, visit www.nzta.govt.nz/safety/driving-safely/winter-driving/

Top tips for safe winter journeys:

  • allow extra time
  • ensure your vehicle is safe for winter driving
  • drive to the road and weather conditions
  • slow down and be prepared for unexpected hazards
  • allow greater following distance between you and the vehicle ahead
  • have blankets, snacks, bottles of water ready in case of emergency or a breakdown.
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