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