Safety on ‘treacherous’ winter roads

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White-out . . . Contractors clear snow on George King Memorial Dr on the Taieri in 2011. PHOTO: ANDREW LORD

Stay safe when travelling on wintry roads, the Dunedin City Council (DCC) says.

Council transport delivery manager Josh von Pein said scores of ground frosts and snow days could hit Dunedin this winter and make it “treacherous” on the roads.

People were encouraged to be aware of winter conditions and take extra care when driving, cycling or walking to work or school.

The council and its contractors did their best to keep the main arterial routes clear and keep people informed about the condition of the road across the city.

Keeping the main arterial routes clear was the council’s first priority – getting major traffic routes treated before 7.30am.

Busy roads feeding on to arterial routes were the next priority.

Motorists need to be particularly cautious on residential streets, as these were generally not gritted.

Main roads were more likely to be gritted or treated with calcium magnesium acetate (CMA), which de-ices the surface and prevents ice from forming.

People should allow a bit more travel time in bad weather, as delays could occur even when roads were open.

If it snowed to low levels in Dunedin, the council’s website – www.dunedin.govt.nz – had useful information, such as if buses were running, libraries were open or rubbish was being collected.

Road conditions were updated regularly on the council’s website and there were live webcams.

The hardest frosts usually arrived at daybreak so motorists should de-ice and de-mist windscreens before embarking on a journey and allow more time to get to a destination.

Motorists should drive slowly and switch on the headlights of their vehicles.

In wet, icy or snowy weather, the distance between moving vehicles should be increased.

Cyclists should have lights on their bikes and wear high-visibility clothing.

Walkers should also wear high-visibility clothing to be safe crossing roads.

Footpaths could be slippery and were not gritted or treated with CMA.

For more winter driving tips and a grit map, visit the Dunedin City Council website.