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Take it easy on the roads as bad weather hits

"Take it easy on the roads as bad weather hits"

Please attribute to Inspector Amelia Steel, Southern District Police Operations Manager:

Southern District Police want motorists to take it easy on the roads over the next few days as a significant weather event hits.

Heavy rain and gales in some places are forecast for the South Island’s east coast over the next two days.

Police are working closely with local councils and other emergency services to ensure we are well prepared to deal with this weather event.

Conditions like this can make driving more difficult.

For that reason, we want motorists to plan ahead so they can avoid driving unless absolutely necessary.

If you must hit the road, please remember to be aware of the conditions around you and adjust accordingly.

Motorists need to keep their speeds down, allow plenty of stopping distance and be mindful of surface flooding, snow and ice.

With strong gales expected, you should also make sure you anticipate big gusts.

Hold onto the steering wheel firmly and take special care when driving through areas known for being windy.

When a clear and cold day follows a day of rain, surplus moisture on the roads will freeze over and create a high probability for black ice.

Motorists, particularly those on an early commute, will need to take extreme care when driving.

Any patches of road which appear wet will likely be ice and should be treated as such.

Police also advise people to check their vehicles and tyres are roadworthy and ensure all windows are completely clear of ice before getting behind the wheel.

It’s also a good idea to carry a fully charged mobile phone and have a blanket, snacks and water on hand in case of an emergency or a breakdown.

Monitoring weather conditions and being prepared before you hit the road are simple steps to take to ensure you get to your destination safely.

Allow extra time for your journey and remember - the speed limit is not a target, it's the maximum legal speed that you can travel at on a road in ideal conditions - and they often don't exist on our roads in winter.

If you must drive, check your route is clear and safe to use, before you hit the road by visiting the NZTA website www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic.

Staying indoors will not only mean you stay warm and dry, but also that you’re keeping yourself safe.

ENDS

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