Safe win­ter driv­ing aim for agency

Matamata Chronicle - - News/opinion -

With the pos­si­bil­ity of a long, cold win­ter ahead, it is im­por­tant that mo­torists can eas­ily ac­cess the lat­est in­for­ma­tion on road con­di­tions be­fore set­ting out on their jour­neys.

The NZ Trans­port Agency ( NZTA) web­site high­way­info. govt. nz lists road con­di­tions and de­lays, haz­ards or clo­sures on the state high­way net­work.

The web­site is up­dated in real time, and is the best source for the most re­cent in­for­ma­tion on high­way con­di­tions.

The NZTA also op­er­ates a High­way Info toll free num­ber, 0800 4 HIGH­WAYS (0800 44 44 49).

‘‘ In win­ter, weather con­di­tions can change quickly and of­ten with­out warn­ing, so it’s im­por­tant to be pre­pared for the un­ex­pected by check­ing road con­di­tions in ad­vance,‘‘ NZTA chief ex­ec­u­tive Ge­off Danger­field said.

‘‘High­way Info is up­dated in real time by our con­trac­tors and engi­neers on the ground, and the web­site is au­to­mat­i­cally re­freshed ev­ery two min­utes.’’

Mr Danger­field said driv­ers should also pay close at­ten­tion to warn­ings or clo­sure no­ti­fi­ca­tions dis­played on the NZTA’s net­work of road­side elec­tronic mes­sage signs, which dis­play the lat­est in­for­ma­tion on road con­di­tions for mo­torists.

‘‘The NZTA wants ev­ery jour­ney on our roads to be a safe jour­ney, and we’re work­ing hard to en­sure that mo­torists are get­ting the best pos­si­ble in­for­ma­tion di­rect from the source to help them make safe, well- in­formed de­ci­sions on their travel,’’ he said.

Mr Danger­field also urged driv­ers to think about the things they could do to make their win­ter driv­ing jour­neys safer.

‘‘The days are shorter and the weather is un­pre­dictable, so it’s im­por­tant that we all al­low more time for our trips, ad­just our driv­ing to the con­di­tions, and make sure that our ve­hi­cles are win­ter-fit,’’ he said.

‘‘Many garages of­fer win­ter safety checks, which will en­sure that your tyres, brakes, wind­screen wipers, lights and steer­ing sys­tem are all up to scratch for win­ter driv­ing.’’

The NZTA says al­ways drive to the con­di­tions, use chains if re­quired, and to be pre­pared for dif­fi­cult win­ter con­di­tions on all roads. kit­tens and other small an­i­mals.

From Jan­uary 1, 2010, glue boards were de­clared ‘‘re­stricted’’ un­der the Animal Wel­fare Act 1999 sec­tion 32. On Jan­uary 1, 2015, the use and sale of th­ese traps will be­come il­le­gal.

Cur­rently there are a few peo­ple who meet ex­cep­tion cri­te­ria. Th­ese are com­mer­cial pest con­trol op­er­a­tors, Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion em­ploy­ees and their con­trac­tors and boat op­er­a­tors who trans­port peo­ple to and from is­lands that are free from pests.

If you do not meet the ex­cep­tion cri­te­ria then the use of them is il­le­gal and penal­ties may be im­posed.

This may be a six-month im­pris­on­ment and/or a $25,000 fine. This means re­tail­ers need to be wary of who they sell th­ese to.

Ev­ery year the SPCA deals with dozens of cases in­volv­ing kit­tens and other small pets be­com­ing caught in in­hu­mane glue board traps.

It is im­por­tant for ev­ery­one to be aware of th­ese cruel traps and to ac­tively and po­litely ap­proach re­tail­ers that sell th­ese items and of­fer in­for­ma­tion of the cru­elty and harm they cause and also the con­di­tions of sale or to at least con­tact the SPCA to in­form them of th­ese re­tail­ers so they can be pro­vided with in­for­ma­tion. If you ever see glue traps be­ing used to cap­ture and kill an­i­mals ask the users to stop us­ing them and pro­vide them with in­for­ma­tion on more hu­mane al­ter­na­tives.

I’m not op­posed to ver­min and ro­dent con­trol but I am against the cruel and in­hu­mane meth­ods we as the ‘‘su­pe­rior in­tel­lect’’ re­sort to with­out fur­ther con­sid­er­a­tion. for all es­pe­cially those vo­cal self­ish and de­mand­ing per­sons clam­our­ing for sta­di­ums and heaven knows what, all at the ex­pense of the ratepay­ers who will never get to use such ex­trav­a­gant fa­cil­i­ties. If they want ex­tras get a shovel and build it them­selves.

Kids es­pe­cially th­ese days think they have a right to any­thing they want – all with­out any ef­fort on their part, no doubt en­cour­aged by dot­ing par­ents and grand­par­ents who have failed to raise them re­spon­si­bly and failed to teach them that noth­ing in life is free.

Those who weath­ered the great de­pres­sion can tes­tify to that. Get real.

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