9 Jul 2017

Motorists told to watch for black ice in Otago, Southland

8:12 am on 9 July 2017

The Transport Agency is advising motorists in the lower South Island to take care, as sub-zero temperatures are bringing black ice to many roads in Otago and Southland.

Frost covers a car's windshield on a cold winter morning (file photo)

Photo: 123RF

Nine main roads on the West Coast and lower half of the South Island have ice-related cautions, including State Highway 94 to Milford, SH80 through Aoraki/Mount Cook and SH6 from Ross through the Haast Pass.

Motorists are being told to avoid driving on these roads unless it is absolutely necessary.

Police said yesterday they had been called to dozens of crashes on icy roads in the same areas. Two people were taken to hospital by helicopter.

In Queenstown, meanwhile, one driver was arrested after they were clocked driving 180km/h in icy conditions. The 40-year-old man had his licence suspended and was expected to appear in the Queenstown District Court on Monday.

Looking ahead, MetService is expecting severe weather to affect many parts of the country from Tuesday to Wednesday.

The forecaster said snow and cold southerlies were expected in the South Island, followed by the possibility of severe gales, heavy rain and snow in some parts of the central North Island.

State highway ice warnings for motorists:

Source: NZTA (8am Sunday)