12 died on NZ roads this holiday period

  • 05/01/2016

The holiday road toll stands at 12, but police are reminding drivers to remain vigilant as summer rolls on.

The toll is four less than the same period last summer.

The official holiday period - which began at 4pm on Christmas Eve - ended at 6am today.

National road policing manager Superintendent Steve Greally says police were called to 1617 crashes around the country during that period. Ten of them were fatal.

"While it's encouraging that four more people are alive than last holiday period, it's little comfort to the families and friends of those victims, and to the people who are injured or otherwise traumatised by these crashes," Supt Greally said.

Seven drivers, three passengers, a motorcyclist and a cyclist were among those to die on the roads.

Supt Greally said police will be maintaining their visibility on the roads in the coming weeks and drivers are being urged to follow basic safety rules: check your speed, drive to the conditions, avoid alcohol, take rest breaks and wear a seatbelt.

Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss says while it's encouraging the holiday road toll is lower than last year's, 12 deaths is still 12 too many.

"My deepest sympathies go out to anyone who lost a friend or loved one this holiday season," he said.

"Many people are still on holiday and still driving long distances on unfamiliar roads.

"By taking a little extra care, we give ourselves and our families the best chance of making it home safe and sound."

Just six people were killed during the Christmas and New Year period in 2012/13 - the lowest toll recorded.

The worst was in 1972/73 when 37 people died in 28 motor vehicle accidents.

Holiday fatalities on NZ's roads