Take extra care on roads thanks to cycloneSave
Easter Road Tolls:
2016 - 4
2015 - 1
2014 - 5
2013 - 3
2012 - 0
With extra traffic on the roads thanks to people delaying their Easter holidays, police are urging motorists to take extra care to keep everyone safe.
The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) has even asked holiday-makers to consider delaying their travel due to road closures.
Cyclone Cook flooded and damaged roads around the North Island so Inspector Pete McKennie, manager of road policing operations, asked holiday-makers to drive to the conditions.
"Do take extra care and take your time, there might be extra rocks or debris, unexpected potholes ... just take it slowly," McKennie said.
There was also likely to be heavier traffic on the roads this morning and that one of the biggest risks is complacency, he added.
"Whether or not there's been adverse weather in your area, stick to a safe speed, make sure you're well rested, no alcohol, that's a no-brainer, and people being patient on the roads."
Overtaking someone when you're not 100 per cent certain it's safe is dangerous and will only save you a few seconds in the long run, he said.
"We don't want families having to remember Easter as the time when a loved one died."
The road toll is still at zero but a 19-year-old man was in a critical condition after being hit by a car in Parakai, north-west Auckland, at 9.46pm on Thursday.
To reinforce the police's road safety message, this week the Central District Police put out a catchy "Cop Car Karaoke" video.
The police officer, singing to the tune of Earth, Wind and Fire's 1978 hit September, asks people to make sure everyone is buckled up, to rest when needed and to drive to the conditions.
The video has been viewed more than 500,000 times.
Meanwhile, the NZTA is asking people to consider delaying their travel today as there are still a number of State Highway closures in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato regions.
Transport Agency Highways Manager, Niclas Johansson, said if people couldn't delay they should check before they travel and be prepared for delays.
"If you do decide to travel you are very likely to come across slips being cleared, trees down, roads down to one lane, or even closures so add some extra time to your journey.
"All our contractors are currently on the network working on closures or are checking areas where they may have been problems.
"We are constantly re-assessing how these slips are being cleared and making improvements where we can so we can get these roads open as soon as soon as possible," Johansson said.
The Automobile Association said the number of people dying on our roads has shown no improvement in the first three months of the year and it was horrific how many deaths could have been easily prevented.
More than 100 New Zealanders have already died from road crashes in 2017.
Motoring affairs general manager Mike Noon said it continued a "sad and frustrating trend" in recent years where our road toll has stopped falling.
One of the AA's biggest concerns was the number of fatalities from not wearing a seatbelt, 22 of the people who died in the first three months of this year were not buckled up.
"In just two seconds we could dramatically improve our road toll if every single driver and passenger wore their seatbelt every time they got into a vehicle.
"It's the most basic road safety message and it is a major concern that the number of deaths where people aren't buckled up has nearly doubled in the last two years."
On Thursday, associate Transport Minister David Bennett urged people to seriously reconsider their Easter travel plans and only travel if absolutely necessary in light of Cyclone Cook.
"Four people lost their lives on our roads over Easter last year, and their families are facing another holiday without their loved ones.
"The number of crashes on our roads is much too high, and the deaths are often avoidable."
Simple things such as sticking to the speed limit, driving to the conditions and wearing your seatbelt would all help avoid fatal crashes, he said.
The AA's four Easter tips for drivers:
• Seatbelts for everyone, every time.
• Always be mindful of people walking or riding.
• Increase your following distance and slow down if it's wet.
• Go with the flow in heavy traffic and don't try any risky overtaking manoeuvres.