Truckies and local leaders are at breaking point over a dangerous highway between Napier and Taupō, where eight people have been killed in the last year.
They say government ministers and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency are not listening to their pleas for change and safety improvements.
Truck driver Tony Alexander said he had seen many crashes along State Highway 5. He was one of the first responders to a crash in March, where a 21-year-old woman was killed.
He said the scene was "just carnage".
"You've got two cars sitting in the middle of the road, one that's got so much impact damage to it that you just know it's not going to be a good outcome and you've got people that are trying to help, you've got people that are just standing around not knowing what to do and yeah, it's chaos at the start."
Alexander has been calling on Waka Kotahi to take action for months, but he said they had not properly addressed his concerns.
"Is it the workmanship, is it the fact that they're not using the proper materials, is it the funding, we just don't know," he said.
"We're the ones that are out here on the road and see this damage and we can't do anything about it."
Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said she received calls almost every day from residents about the state of the road, but no significant change had been guaranteed by central government.
"While there has been a small investment in this road over the last year or so, it's not sufficient and it is just replacing what is there and filling in," she said.
"There isn't any serious improvements made to the road that are going to make significant safety changes."
Road Transport Forum chief executive Nick Leggett joined forces with the locals for the fight.
He said the road surface was like a "patchwork quilt" - as you drive you can see why there are so many accidents.
"Eight fatalities in twelve months is an appalling record of road safety and this road is a local and regional example of a national problem."
He put a challenge to Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter, who is responsible for road safety.
"What is the response from politicians when they've got a road like this that's a major carrier of people and freight and eight people have been killed in the last year. Surely there has to be some response and as I've said, I think Julie Anne Genter needs to come to the Hawke's Bay and see this for herself."
Genter was unavailable for an interview with RNZ.
While not directly addressing Leggett's comments, she said in a statement she expected Waka Kotahi to prioritise safety upgrades to the most dangerous roads.
"Safety upgrades, like side and median crash barriers and rumble strips, will be rolled out across the 3000km of high-risk state highways - we've already done 2500km in the last two years and we still have more to do," the statement read.
"Our road safety strategy, Road to Zero, will help reduce deaths and serious injuries on our roads by 40 percent over the next years. Meeting this target would save 750 lives and prevent 5600 serious injuries on New Zealand roads over the next decade."
Waka Kotahi would not be interviewed either but its regional transport systems manager Oliver Postings was quoted in a statement.
"We recognise that the recent crashes on the SH5 corridor are a concern for residents and we are undertaking further analysis of the factors involved to determine whether there are specific issues or areas on the road that require our immediate attention," he said.
"While there are no current plans for major capital works on the SH5, we continue to explore possible options to improve the highway in the future and remain open to feedback or ideas.
"These possible options would be for safety improvements to the current highway - there are no plans to construct more lanes or passing lanes."