7 Apr 2015

Less drink-driving a factor in low road toll - police

9:51 am on 7 April 2015

Police say the lower drink-drive limit appears to have contributed to the low road toll over the Easter weekend.

The Easter road toll finished with one fatality - the second lowest since records began in 1980.

The victim died in a two car collision on State Highway 8 near Twizel on Sunday afternoon.

Last year, five people died during the Easter holiday period.

The lowest Easter road toll recorded in New Zealand was in 2012, when there were no deaths.

Road Policing National Operations Manager Inspector Peter McKennie said the new lower drink-drive limit appeared to be having an effect.

"Those who were perhaps drink driving before, they're drinking less, the people who are being caught are being caught at lower limits, so that's certainly trending positively.

"Obviously long term we want to see that being embedded and people just not drinking and driving at all."

Mr McKennie said he wanted to keep the momentum going for the lowest annual road toll ever in 2015.

The police warned motorists they would be out in force during the holiday weekend, and would ticket anyone caught driving more than the four kilometres over the speed limit.

On the Kapiti Coast, more than 160 speeding tickets were issued during a 24-hour period along State Highway 1.

Lower alcohol driving limits that came into effect last December nearly halved the blood alcohol limit, from 80 milligrams per millilitre to 50 milligrams.