Wintry weather adds to Canterbury driving risks

Wintry weather adds to Canterbury driving risks


Canterbury police are urging motorists to take care on the roads as the onset of winter weather makes driving conditions more difficult.

"Driving safely means obeying the speed limits and driving to the conditions," says Inspector Trevor Pullen of the Canterbury Road Policing group. "It's the core element to being a safe driver.

"In hazardous driving conditions you have much less time to react - and if you crash, the impact will be greater, with a higher risk of death or severe injuries."

Inspector Pullen says Canterbury police will be focusing on speed as winter approaches. "Speed is a factor in 35 percent of all road deaths and 22 percent of all reported serious injuries. Drivers need to make sound, safe decisions about the speed they are travelling at, and take account of the prevailing conditions.

"Motorists should take extra care when driving in heavy rain, fog, wet or damp roads or in heavy holiday traffic. Keep your distance and be prepared to stop suddenly.

"Remember, the speed limit is not a target, it's the maximum legal speed that you can travel at on a road in perfect conditions - and they don't always exist on our roads in winter."

A range of other hazards can make winter and holiday driving conditions challenging, Inspector Pullen points out. "It's important that drivers observe temporary speed limits at roadworks and watch out for workers.

"Be very aware of other road users such as cyclists, pedestrians, and slower traffic like trucks and vehicles that are towing trailers, boats or caravans - some may not be easily seen in thick fog, snow or heavy rain.

"Always be prepared to slow down and be patient until there's an opportunity to overtake safely. Take particular care in icy conditions and be watch out for black ice, especially in shaded areas of the road.

"Speed and alcohol continue to be our big concerns - so we urge drivers to watch their speed, and avoid driving if they're affected by alcohol or drugs.

"Safe driving also includes ensuring everyone wears their seatbelt, with children correctly restrained, and take plenty of breaks when traveling."


Stephen Hill, Communications Manager, Canterbury Police District
03 3637815 / 027 4363701