Video: Woman 'petrified' after witnessing two cars carry out shocking overtake manoeuvre on State Highway 3

A woman says she was "petrified" after witnessing two cars trying to overtake at the same time.

Sophia Martin was travelling from New Plymouth to Auckland on Sunday morning when she witnessed the shocking incident unfold - and captured it all on video.

"The only reason I started filming was because of the crazy behaviour from all the cars involved before this event took place… And it got worse from there," she told Newshub.

Martin said the incident happened on State Highway 3 at the Awakino Gorge.

"My brother was driving and we were petrified," she said.

To make matters worse, Martin alleged the vehicles involved in the illegal overtaking went on to run a red light further up the highway.

In a generic statement responding to Martin's footage, police said the disregard some motorists showed for the safety of other road users was appalling.

Motorists were urged not to attempt dangerous overtakes, police said.

"If you've witnessed dangerous driving please make a report to [the] police, including registration plate number and make or colour of the vehicle, so that we can conduct follow-up enquiries and hold offending drivers accountable for their actions."