Safety on the roads during winter

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Last weekend's frosts affected vehicles and roads throughout Southland.

THE seasons are changing – and Southland has already had some cold days to remind us winter is here

Road Policing Acting Sergeant Tara Lindsay said Southland police wanted to remind drivers to take care in winter conditions.

“We want every journey for all road users to be a safe one.”

Motorists needed to make sure they were keeping themselves, their families and other motorists safe, she said.

“Speed is always one of the major factors when dealing with incidents on our roads. Just a few kilometres per hour can make a huge difference between avoiding a collision or a crash with a devastating outcome.”

Here are some things to think about this season:

Winter is a good time of year to check vehicles. It is very important to have good tyre tread depth, working lights, brakes, de-misters, wiper blades and batteries when it comes to winter driving

On frosty mornings, take that extra minute to ensure your windscreen is fully defrosted and you can see out all windows and mirrors

Make sure you have a cloth handy to wipe any condensation off your windscreen. This will also clean any grime and help in case you get hit with sun-strike

Make sure your vehicle’s lights are on and people can see you. As the daylight hours get shorter, cars are harder to spot. You’ll be much more visible to other drivers, pedestrians and cyclists if your lights are on

Southland weather can change suddenly and without warning

Drivers should always be alert and look out for areas shaded by things such as hills and trees. These spots are often where ice and black ice occurs, and this may not thaw during the day

Bridges can also stay slippery longer than other road surfaces, so slow down when crossing

Check your following distances – it only takes a split second for things to go wrong and an extra second can make all the difference

out and about checking vehicles and ensuring people are staying safe on our roads this winter.

If you want to report or check road conditions on the state highway, phone 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) or go to www.highwayinfo.govt.nz.

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