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NZTA urging drivers to take care and plan ahead this weekend

NZTA urging drivers to take care and plan ahead this weekend

With a wintry blast forecast to hit the country over the weekend, the NZ Transport Agency is urging motorists to check the latest conditions before hitting the road, and to take extra care behind the wheel.

NZTA Chief Executive Geoff Dangerfield said with the severe weather expected to affect roads in many parts of the country from tomorrow afternoon through to the middle of next week, it was important for motorists to take conditions into account before hitting the road.

"Our contractors will be working as hard around the clock to clear snow, lay down grit and keep drivers safe, but with the severe polar blast predicted, it's inevitable that some restrictions and some closures will be necessary. Our number one concern will be ensuring people's safety."

The Metservice has predicted an "extensive polar blast" which may well bring snow to areas of the country that don't normally experience it. The southerly blast is expected to bring snow to near seal level in Otago and Southland, as well as in areas of the North Island including Wellington, the Wairarapa and Hawke's Bay.

Mr Dangerfield urged motorists to adjust their driving to the conditions and to check the latest information before hitting the road.

"In winter, weather conditions can change quickly and often without warning, so it’s important to be prepared for the unexpected by checking road conditions in advance. In some cases the best advice will be not to drive at all. We're urging people to take this weekend's forecast seriously and to look after the safety of their families."

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The most accurate, up to date information on state highway road conditions can be found at www.highwayinfo.govt.nz.

Highway Info lists road conditions, delays, hazards and closures on the state highway network, and is updated in real time. It is the best source for the most recent information on highway conditions.

For motorists who aren’t near a computer, the NZTA also operates the Highway Info toll free number, which is 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49).

"Highway Info is updated in real time by NZTA contractors and engineers on the ground, and the website is automatically refreshed every two minutes," says NZTA Highways Network Operations Manager Dave Bates.

"This ensures motorists are getting the best possible information direct from the source to help them make safe, well-informed decisions on their travel.

"In winter, weather conditions can change quickly and often without warning, so it’s important to be prepared for the unexpected by checking road conditions in advance."

The NZTA reminds motorists to drive to the conditions at all times, use chains where required, and to be prepared for difficult winter conditions on all roads.

Highway Info also provides access to traffic webcams in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Waiouru, Otaki, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, and also to live RSS feeds.

ENDS

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