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The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) says the serious tourist bus crash in icy conditions on SH94 in Southland this morning should serve as a reminder for all motorists that extra caution is needed when driving in winter conditions.
NZTA Southland Area Manager Peter Robinson said while ice warning signs were in place on SH94 in Southland this morning and the road had been gritted, drivers needed to be aware that conditions could change without warning.
“For the past eight days SH94 from Mossburn to Te Anau has been affected by areas of black ice due to fog and cold road pavement temperatures, and we’re urging drivers to use extreme caution and be aware that conditions can change very quickly.
“Our thoughts are with those injured in the crash and their families. We are assisting Police their investigation into this crash and one of our heavy vehicle crash investigators is also helping at the scene.”
Mr Robinson said while inspections by NZTA contractors at 6am and again at 7am this morning showed no obvious ice issue on the section of SH94 where the crash occurred, an hour later a light shower of rain had caused the black ice that affected SH94 highway and others in Northern Southland.
NZTA contractors had gritted the worst hit areas close to Te Anau quickly as possible and also stopped motorists to warn them about black ice, and electronic variable message signs had displayed warnings of black ice road conditions.
The latest highway information on highway conditions can be found at www.highwayinfo.govt.nz