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Weather blast may pose hazard for drivers

Weather blast may pose hazard for drivers

A blast of cold, wet weather could dramatically increase the risks to road users in Canterbury over the coming days, with the possibility of snow to low levels later this week.

Canterbury Police are advising drivers to assess their local conditions if forecast snow arrives.

Senior Sergeant Phil Newton of the Canterbury Highway Patrol says in the event of severe weather, road users should check local conditions before travelling.

"If conditions appear difficult, drivers should think about looking for alternative transport, or consider rescheduling or delaying any non-essential travel," he says.

Motorists should also be wary of ice hazards which may follow in the wake of snow.

"While snow is clearly visible, there may be large areas of ice on the roads later that drivers will not be able to see - especially in rural and shaded areas."

Police are urging road users to make sure they drive to the conditions. "Slow down, be patient, extend your following distances and get to where you are going safely," Senior Sergeant Newton says.

"Winter weather dramatically increases the chances of having a crash - especially if drivers have lapses in concentration.

"Drivers need to take careful note of weather advisories, and make allowances for the extra time needed when travelling on snow or ice-affected roads. Consider altering your route to travel on roads that have been gritted."

Winter months are traditionally bad ones on local roads. Last year 10 people died on Canterbury roads between May and August.

Police say the biggest factor in the winter road toll is motorists failing to drive to the conditions.

"Our most important message to all drivers is to slow down whenever the weather turns bad.

"Drivers also need to increase their following distance behind other vehicles, to ensure they have a better chance of reacting quickly enough to hazards or difficult situations."

Drivers should also ensure they have an unobstructed view through their windscreens and windows by clearing ice and condensation.

Police recommend motorists give their vehicles a thorough check at this time of year, to ensuring their vehicle is safe for the conditions and to reduce the chances of crashes. This should include ensuring that:

• Tyres have sufficient tread
• Brakes are working correctly
• All lights are working
• Windscreen wipers are in good condition
• Vehicle has a current Warrant of fitness
• Snow chains are on board if travelling over the passes.

ENDS

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