Warning as road toll rises

Police are warning motorists to beware of winter hazards as the Waikato road toll moved to 13 at the weekend.

Waikato road policing manager Leo Tooman said the number of deaths was well below the 21 recorded at the same time last year but it could jump quickly.

In the latest fatal accident, a 71-year-old woman, understood to be from Matamata, veered off the road just after 1pm on Saturday. She was in a moderate to serious condition at the scene but later died in hospital.

Mr Tooman said the driving conditions were good at the time but the polar blast and onset of winter brought their own hazards.

"With the wet weather, particularly early in the morning and late at night, it can be pretty hard to pick up the road markings, particularly at intersections," Mr Tooman said.

"It's very hard to see particularly at night."

Mr Tooman said drivers who didn't turn on their headlights in the morning and evening "frustrated" him.

"They can see where they're going, sure, but people can't see them. So turn those headlights on. The other thing with the frosty mornings is it's very difficult to see. Even though modern cars have demisting equipment, make sure you clear that damn windscreen before you go."

The eve of winter is also a prime time to check tyre tread, he said.

Waikato Times