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Be alert and drive to winter conditions

Be alert and drive to winter conditions

Winter officially begins in two days but for the Central District it has arrived early bringing snow and rain in its wake.

"The frosty mornings and wet weather are signs that winter has well and truly arrived and this means that driving to the conditions is vital," says Inspector Dave White, Central District Road Policing Manager.

"The season provides some challenging driving conditions including snow and black ice on roads. We have already had a number of crashes in the District this morning from black ice so I want to remind drivers that they need to be alert and adapt their driving."

For the duration of the upcoming Queens Birthday official holiday period, the speed limit tolerance is 4km for all permanent posted speed limits. This means that Police will take action where vehicle speeds are checked at more than 4km above the posted speed limit.

Central District Police will also be using a fixed-wing aircraft over the long weekend to monitor traffic flow and identify speeding vehicles.

"Along with the aircraft, our officers will be out keeping the roads safe and anyone we identify doing anything that places other drivers at risk can expect to be caught.

"Take your time and get to your destination safely and remember to play it safe and always have a back-up plan. If your travel plans are looking dodgy due to weather there is no point driving halfway and then being forced to turn around due to road closures."

Police also remind drivers to; watch their speed and following distance, take a break if fatigue starts to set in, and simply that alcohol and cars don't mix.

"Also seatbelts are not an accessory and they are definitely not optional; they are there to be used and could save your life so remember to buckle up. We don't say these things just for the sake of it; we want everyone to have a safe journey."

If people have travel plans over winter and the Queens Birthday weekend Police encourage them to plan their journey and check out the latest weather and traffic updates.

"Along with our road safety partners we want you to have an enjoyable holiday and winter so always remember to drive to survive," says Inspector White.

The Desert Road (State Highway 1) is currently closed along with State Highway 49 (Raetihi to Ohakune) due to the weather conditions. A number of other roads in the District are also closed. You can visit the NZTA website for real-time traffic alerts. Another helpful website is https://onthemove.govt.nz/

Queen's Birthday weekend 2013 officially starts at 4pm Friday 31 May and ends at 6am Tuesday 4 June.

ENDS

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