The police are hoping new regulations will help make the holiday road toll a record low.
Last year seven people died in crashes, one more than the record low the year before.
The worst Christmas road toll was the 1972-73 holiday, when 37 people died.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Dave Cliff said if people were travelling at more than four kilometres an hour over the speed limit they could expect to be stopped and ticketed.
He said the lower drink drive limit was also in place - so people should plan not to drive.
"If you're going to drink alcohol please plan not to drive, so it's all about planning and thinking ahead."
Canterbury police also said travellers were failing to buckle up, especially backseat passengers.
Canterbury road policing manager Al Stewart said people, young and old, were not wearing their seatbelts and no particular seat was safer than another.
"We get a lot of younger drivers and younger passengers usually early evening, overnight, but during the day we will find a lot of Joe and Jane public just not wearing seatbelts."
Mr Stewart said there was a $150 fine for not wearing a seatbelt.
The official holiday road toll began at 4pm today and ends on 5 January.