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Winter roads need winter drivers, says Transit

Transit New Zealand Dunedin Regional Office

Winter roads need winter drivers, says Transit

With the winter chill biting, Transit New Zealand is urging motorists to take care and pay extra attention when driving on state highways in Otago and Southland.

Transit regional network manager Murray Clarke said winter conditions brought ice, snow, slippery surfaces, poor light and difficult night time driving conditions all things that make driving over the coming months more challenging than at other times of the year.

"Winter roads need winter drivers. Safe driving in winter is about being aware, taking care and adjusting your speed to reflect the conditions."

He also encouraged motorists to plan their journeys, allow extra time, and check road condition information before setting out. People should avoid unnecessary trips during periods of high risk such as during the night or in the early morning."

"In winter, weather conditions can change quickly, often without warning. Be prepared for the unexpected by carrying warm clothes, sturdy footwear and chains that you know how to fit."

Mr Clarke said all roads required extra care in winter, not just those in shady or alpine areas where people often expected slippery surfaces.

"Frost and ice can occur anywhere. Just as weather conditions can change during a trip, so too can road conditions."

Mr Clarke said keeping state highways safe and open for all users is Transit's priority in Otago and Southland during winter - but there was also a lot that people could do to help ensure their own safety.

Transit's top winter driving tips:

Check road condition information:

Transit website www.transit.govt.nz - highway info/current conditions

Listen to your local radio station

Transit road information line 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 444449)

Be aware, take care and adjust your speed to the conditions

Watch for ice, frost and slippery road surfaces particularly in the early morning and as temperatures drop at night

Avoid unnecessary night time and early morning trips

Carry chains and know how to fit them

Plan your journey and allow extra time

Be prepared for the unexpected carry warm clothes and sturdy footwear


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