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Thursday 23 May, 2019
Preparing for winter usually involves a flurry of firewood deliveries, and
we start pushing those summer clothes to the back of the closet in exchange for
warmer layers. The preparation is all about keeping warm and comfortable, but
this winter, I want to make sure that we are also preparing for winter driving
The Council routinely works to ensure our roads are as safe as they can
be for the icy, wet months. We work with property owners to keep the height of
shelter belts in check so that they don’t block the sun from melting road ice.
We also grit roads prone to ice build-up and monitor that correct signage is
displayed throughout the district to warn drivers of the road conditions.
These activities play a vital role in keeping people safe, but with a devastating
national road toll already exceeding what it was this time last year, it’s
important that we are all working together to protect our community.
Being safe on the road has a lot to do with ensuring our vehicles are in
proper working order.
When was the last time you took a good look at your tyres? In the winter
months, their condition could be the difference between sticking to the road on
a slippery corner or hydroplaning off it.
The minimum legal depth for tyre tread is 1.5 millimetres, but please
remember that this is only the minimum. In reality, depth any less than three
millimetres can drastically affect tyre performance, so if yours appear a
little too worn, maybe it’s time to get them looked at and/or replaced. And
while you’re at it, check that the tyres have enough air pressure.
Take a look under your hood as well. Cracked or worn hoses and belts can
cause huge problems. You’ll want to make sure the battery is working correctly
as well and that you’ve got your antifreeze sorted to help stop water in your
radiator from freezing.
For full peace of mind, talk to your trusted mechanic.
A big determining factor for safety on the road is our behaviour. We’ve
all heard the road safety messages, so now is the time to put them into action.
When it’s dark, foggy, you’re unfamiliar with the road, or it’s wet and
slippery, please drive to the conditions. Always keep your distance from the
car in front, put your lights on to help other drivers see you, and be aware
that shaded parts of the road might not have had a chance for the ice to melt
As always, it’s best to check what the weather and driving conditions
will be like before setting off, especially for long trips - like the one you
might be taking on the upcoming long weekend.
Let’s make sure that we all make it home safe on the roads this winter
and make a conscious effort to be prepared and alert.