'Be patient, slow down': Speeding drivers 'putting everyone at risk' this Christmas

While many New Zealanders are winding down for the holiday period, Senior Sergeant Rupert Field has been preparing for the busiest days of the year.

"[On Monday] we had two people lose their license on Waikato roads for driving more than 40 kilometres over the speed limit," the Waikato Road Policing Senior Sergeant told Newshub.

He spent the day patrolling the region, on the lookout for dangerous drivers.

With traffic, full cars and caravans on the roads, police say people need to accept that delays are inevitable.

"Most of the traffic will be going at 80 to 90 kilometres an hour... people who try to go beyond that are the ones putting everyone else at risk," he said.

The official holiday road toll period started at 4pm on Tuesday and runs until 6am on January 3.

During the 2018/2019 holiday road toll period, nine people died and 394 were injured.

This year, things aren't looking good. Seven people have died on the roads since Friday, the day when much of the country finished work for the year.

"The worst thing is to go [and] tell a family member, especially this close to Christmas, that they've lost a loved one. We don't wanna be doing that, we don't want any families being torn apart by it," Field said.

Speed is the biggest determining factor as to whether someone will live when a crash occurs. Many continue to ignore the police's efforts to get Kiwis to slow down.

Travelling through a reduced speed area today, Newshub was repeatedly overtaken by people speeding - even trucks.

The message from police this Christmas is simple - "be patient, slow down.

"It's better that people actually get there and enjoy their holiday," Field said.

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