Police issue strong message to motorists after 'devastating' start to Labour weekend

Behave safely - that's the message from police after a horrific 24 hours on the roads. 

Four people have died since the official Labour weekend road toll began at 4pm on Friday afternoon. 

One was a motorcyclist in Upper Hutt on Friday night, the second was killed in a crash outside of Gisborne on Saturday morning, the third died near Tekapo and the fourth was a pedestrian killed in a crash with a heavy-vehicle in the Whanganui district.

But there have been multiple other accidents across the country as well, many leading to Kiwis being rushed to hospital. 

It's prompted a strong message from police on Saturday night. 

"Police is strongly appealing to motorists to behave safely on our roads after a devastating start to Labour weekend," national road policing manager acting superintendent Gini Welch says.

"Our frontline staff have attended four fatal crashes across the country since the official weekend period began at 4pm yesterday.

"We have also responded to a number of other serious crashes which have resulted in significant injuries to those involved."

Welch said while it is too early to speak about the cause of the crashes, police will continue to "relentlessly remind people" that everyone needs to play their part to keep our roads safe.

"With high volumes of traffic on our roads this long weekend, we implore you to keep your speeds down, pay attention to your surroundings and the conditions, and watch your following distances to ensure you arrive alive," Welch says. 

"Most people behave safely on the roads most of the time, but it only takes one risky decision or moment of inattention to result in tragedy. Ultimately, the actions of every driver and rider makes a difference."

In a tweet, police say: "We need to do better New Zealand".

"Slow down, buckle up, leave the phone alone and don’t drive impaired. It really is so simple."