Holiday road toll climbs after three people die overnight

Two people are dead after being hit by a vehicle in Gisborne overnight. 

The fatality happened on Back Ormond Road, near the Rhythm and Vines festival at around 9:15pm on Saturday. 

Police said emergency services attended but one person died at the scene while another died later in hospital. 

A third person died overnight after a car rolled on Rangiora Leithfield Road, North Canterbury. 

The road toll for the holiday period now stands at an unconfirmed total of 15, one short of last year's total of 16 with three days to go. 

WSP technical director Dr Fergus Tate told Newshub reducing the road toll involves a multitude of measures, but reducing speed is a major one. 

Tate researched the impact of reduced speed limits on three stretches of highway in the North Island. 

The findings were published in an August report prepared for NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi. 

"Typically, we found for the three case studies that we looked at - and they varied - the reduction in the rate of deaths and serious injuries was about 30 percent," Dr Tate told Newshub. 

Caroline Perry from road safety charity Brake NZ said it's clear that attitudes to driving need to change.

"There are things that we need to do - all of us - in terms of taking responsibility for our behaviour on the roads," Perry told Newshub.