Frosty warn­ing for driv­ers

Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough - - WHAT’S ON - JEF­FREY KITT

Early morn­ing driv­ers with lit­tle more than a peep-hole on their frosted wind­screens are likely to feel the heat from po­lice.

Ob­scured win­dows have be­come a com­mon sight in Marl­bor­ough as tem­per­a­tures con­tinue to drop, and po­lice are urg­ing mo­torists to clear their win­dows on frosty morn­ings or face the con­se­quence.

Com­mu­nity Con­sta­ble Russ Smith, of Blenheim, says there is no ex­cuse to drive with lim­ited vis­i­bil­ity. It could even land driv­ers with a $150 fine.

‘‘It means peo­ple can’t see in their periphery. A lot of peo­ple do it, but it is ac­tu­ally an of­fence,’’ Russ says.

‘‘It has def­i­nitely been the cause of crashes in the past, there’s no two ways around it.’’

Tem­per­a­tures in Marl­bor­ough have dipped into the mi­nus range six times in July. Cars left out­side when a frost hit are left in a dan­ger­ous con­di­tion if not man­aged cor­rectly, Russ says.

While it has not been the cause of any crashes this win­ter, past sea­sons have seen col­li­sions due to driv­ers be­ing un­able to see the road around them.

It only takes a few min­utes in the morn­ing to use wa­ter or a scraper to en­sure cars are safe to drive af­ter a frost, Russ says.

Frosts also brought other dan­gers such as black ice, Russ says. Ar­eas which re­mained damp or shaded through­out the day of­ten froze overnight, es­pe­cially on bridges, Russ warns.

‘‘Drive cau­tiously in these ar­eas and avoid sud­den changes of di­rec­tion and heavy brak­ing,’’ he says.

Driv­ers should also use their head­lights in low light con­di­tions, Russ adds. ‘‘It’s about other road users see­ing you and mak­ing good de­ci­sions as a re­sult. It is not about whether you need lights to see.’’

PHOTO: SCOTT HAM­MOND/STUFF

Marl­bor­ough po­lice are re­mind­ing driv­ers to en­sure they can see out of their wind­screen or face a fine.

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