Double fatality sparks call for motorists to pay attention and stop 'thinking about COVID-19'

Two people have died in a crash in Waitaki District overnight.

Emergency services were called to Macraes Back Rd shortly before midnight. 

Two others received serious injuries and were taken to Dunedin Hospital.

Five have died on the roads this weekend, including a fatal motorbike crash on Boundary Rd in Auckland's Clover Park.

"Every death on our road is a tragedy and is devastating for the family involved," said Caroline Perry, spokesperson for road safety lobby group Brake, who urged people to pay more attention while driving and keep below the speed limit.

"There's lots going on and people might be feeling anxious... so it's really important that when you are driving you are focused on the task of driving and take a break from thinking about COVID and other things going on in your life." 

On Friday police said they would no longer be tolerating any speeding, ending a longstanding convention where drivers typically wouldn't be fined up to 10km/h over the limit. 

"We don't have a threshold," national road policing manager Acting Supt Gini Welch told Stuff. 

"We don't have anything other than the speed limit. That's what we will enforce."

The Taxpayers' Union has launched a petition against the change, calling it a "nasty revenue grab from motorists".

Perry said Brake backs the changes, as slower speeds mean fewer and less injurious crashes. 

"The speed limit is there for a reason - it's not a target."