8 Jun 2021

Queen's Birthday road toll: Three dead over long weekend

9:06 am on 8 June 2021

Three people died on the roads during the Queen's Birthday holiday period, the same as last year.

Police generic

Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

A person died after a crash on State Highway 3 in Waitomo on Sunday night.

Another was killed that day in a smash between a ute and a motorcycle in Waitaki, and a person died when a ute collided with a traffic-light pole in Auckland.

Six people died over Queen's Birthday in 2019, and three the year before that.

Acting national road policing manager Pete McKennie told Morning Report any road death toll was too many.

"Any death is too many and our thoughts first and foremost are with the people who have lost their loved ones so tragically," he said.

He said most people tended to drive according to the conditions, but it was still a matter of reminding people.

"Be mindful of your environment and drive to those conditions. The speed limit signs on the roadside aren't a sign that say 'hey, look it's safe to travel at those speeds at all times."

While the investigations are ongoing into the crashes, McKennie said overall there were some trends emerging.

"There are still some common trends coming through around speed and impairment - alcohol and drugs and people driving fresh - and certainly everyone needs to make sure they've got their seat belts on when they're driving.

"And just be focused on the road at all times."

He said no matter what vehicle you drive, you need to be mindful of your environment.

"It's not just you on the road, it's who you are sharing the road with."

The final figures on numbers of people drink-driving over the long weekend period were still due, he said, but there was still "disappointingly too many".

"It's just a really sensible thing to do to actually make plans how you're going to get home before you go out drinking, because after you've had a few drinks it's the wrong time to make sensible decisions."