Warning of Possible Hazardous Road Conditions

Severe frosts may see black ice forming on many roads in the District over the next few days and drivers are being warned to consider their travel plans if snow and ice are present.

Council contractors, SICON will be monitoring road conditions but Operations Manager, Mike Power warns drivers need to take extra care. Oxford in snow

Black ice on the road is one of the most dangerous road surfaces drivers can come across and drivers won’t know until they hit it, he says.

“Shaded areas and bridges are particularly prone to black ice and while we will be gritting those areas which are affected, the grit only improves friction by about 15% so you only have around 40% of dry road skid resistance.”

The New Zealand Transport Agency are also asking drivers to consider if they have to travel through areas of snow and ice and if they do to be prepared for road restrictions, road closures and long delays. If you are travelling carry chains and know how to fit them, for your own safety and everyone else on the roads.

Contractors will be updating council staff with road conditions when they are able. 

To keep up to date with State Highway road conditions in Canterbury you can check NZTA Traffic Journeys and for local road closures check our Facebook page or website.

Some key tips for driving to the conditions include:

  • Check your vehicle is winter-ready – tyres are in good condition and at correct pressure, windscreen wipers are clean and work well, windscreens, windows and mirrors are clear of ice and moisture;
  • Adjust your speed appropriately;
  • Allow extra time for your journey;
  • Leave more space between you and other vehicles;
  • Make sure you have your headlights on in fog and low light;
  • Avoid braking or accelerating suddenly;
  • Pay attention to signage with warnings of ice and grit;
  • Familiarise yourself with what technology your vehicle does or doesn’t have such as Antilock Braking System (ABS) and know the correct way to operate your vehicle in all conditions.

Predicted weather forecasts could also impact on sports training. In the Waimakariri District fields are managed by the sports codes so before heading out, check with your club to make sure training is still going ahead. Take care around trees if snow does build up as the weight could cause branches to break under the extra load.