On long stretches of rural road driving, cruise control can save fuel by helping your car maintain a steady speed


• Ice scraper, snowbrush and small shovel • Sand/salt or other traction aid • Booster cables • Road flares or warning lights • A jug of antifreeze and windshield washer fluid • Flashlight and batteries • First aid kit • Small tool kit • Extra clothing and footwear • Blankets • Heat packets • Non-perishable foods and water • Fully charged battery bank • Tow rope


… to slow down for, not hit. Chances are your car will take much more damage than the cow.


In 2019, fatigue was a factor in 85 serious injury crashes


Getting off the beaten track can actually bring you to some horrifically beaten tracks. Some less maintained roads can be uneven so go steady.


We offer road safety education services and talks to community groups, schools and businesses in the district. Call Daniel on 027 438 6285 or (03) 687 7235


  • When travelling in the country, watch out for changing conditions and decrease your speed to compensate for these conditions.

  • It may also take some time for an ambulance or rescue team to get to you.
    Many rural areas have NO or poor cell phone reception.

  • The road engineering differs in rural places where there can be narrow and unsealed roads.

  • There are narrow bridges, ditches and or trenches and trees all over our rural road network, which increase the risk of injury or death in crashes.

  • Driving around stock? Wait for the instructions from the farm staff to drive on.

Is my street too narrow for traffic to pass safely?

It may seem to be narrow, but in fact it’s wide enough. People do not want vehicles to go fast in residential areas where kids may be playing on footpaths etc. The only way to reduce the speed is to narrow the lanes so that we get the “side friction” that naturally make drivers go slower because the space seem to be tight. As shown, there are still plenty of space for even large vehicles to come through with ease.

What does merge like a zip mean?

It means that drivers on either lane must merge by using the following rules:

  1. The vehicle that is the furthest ahead in the queue goes first – regardless of the sign or lane position
  2. The driver who is second should adjust speed to let the first vehicle in
  3. Then all vehicles behind must do the same to let one vehicle in each lane get in.
  4. When merging with trucks, give them enough space to get in

What is the meaning of the yellow diamond marking?

It indicates a ‘clear zone’ where vehicles should not stop. If there is no space for your vehicle on the other side of the marking, you should not drive onto the yellow block. This marking is used at intersections where a side entrance or road is very close to the main intersection. There may be vehicles wanting to turn right from the side road and if vehicles stop on the yellow block, would impede traffic flow.

Do all school zones in South Canterbury have a 40km/h speed limit?

No – the only school zone sign that has an 40km/h speed limit, is on Craigie Avenue (SH1) past Timaru South School.

All other school zones have a maximum speed limit of 50km/h but the only difference is that the speed enforcement tolerance is less – 4km/h. So you could be ticketed if your speed is above 54km/h.

Why do slower drivers speed up at passing lanes?

Research suggest it is because the road becomes wider and those drivers feel more confident to go faster on the two lanes. Sometimes it may be intentional, but in most cases it will be unintentional.

I have some concerns about road safety issues. Who should I speak to about it?

For Timaru, Waimate, or Mackenzie Districts call Daniel Naudé (03) 687 7235.

For Ashburton District call Martin Lo (03) 307 7766

Remain Safe on the Road