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Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

Waka Kotahi is asking Taranaki motorists to take care and expect winter driving conditions, with reports of snow in the Midhurst and Stratford areas.

Taranaki System Manager Ross I’Anson says while the roads remain open, motorists should be prepared for winter driving conditions, including snow and ice. 

“Plan ahead, allow extra time for your journeys and drive to the road and weather conditions. Maintain a greater following distance between your vehicle and the one in front, slow down and be prepared for unexpected hazards.” 

There are road closures on State Highway 1 Desert Road and State Highway 4 in the Central North Island due to snow. 

“These closures may result in more traffic on our roads, with New Plymouth one of the identified detour routes for the road closures due to snow in the Central North Island. Be patient, stay safe.”

Motorists can visit the Waka Kotahi Journey Planner website (journeys.nzta.govt.nz(external link)) for up to date information on road closures, detours, road works, traffic and delays.

The Waka Kotahi website contains more easy tips for safe driving in winter conditions: nzta.govt.nz/winterjourneys(external link)

Winter driving tips

  • Check weather and travel conditions on highways before you start your trip and on breaks throughout your journey – use journeys.nzta.govt.nz(external link) or call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49).
  • Ensure your car is safe and equipped: spare tyre, warrant of fitness up-to-date, lights, brakes and wind-wipers all working, clean windscreen inside and out, check tyre treads to ensure good grip.
  • If you are travelling long distances, share the driving and have regular breaks.
  • Wear your seat belt throughout the journey and check your passengers have theirs clicked in too.
  • Driving on roads that are exposed to snow and ice can be treacherous, so slow down and drive to the conditions, not the allowable/legal speed limit. Increase the following distance between you and the vehicle ahead.
  • Be prepared when travelling in case of delays on the road, particularly in alpine conditions. Make sure you have warm clothes/food/water/charged mobile phone. In an emergency, phone 111. Bear in mind some parts of the highway have no cell coverage.
  • Learn about winter driving, including how to get your vehicle ready and if you are driving in an area where chains may be needed, practise putting them on before you go so you are not caught out. 
    https://www.nzta.govt.nz/safety/driving-safely/winter-driving/(external link)

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