28 Dec 2011

Road toll likely to be 10 less than half way through holiday

10:05 pm on 28 December 2011

The Transport Agency says it is saddened and concerned by the number of road deaths over the past few days and is urging drivers to take more care.

On Wednesday, less than half-way through the official holiday period, the road toll stood at eight, with another person killed in a crash on the Haast Highway on Wednesday afternoon.

However the total for the year so far was 277, significantly lower than the 372 at the same time last year.

A Transport Agency spokesperson says it is enouraged by the fall, but the number of deaths in the past few days is worrying.

The spokesperson says drivers need to stay patient and courteous, ensure they have regular breaks and drive to the conditions.

In the latest death, on Wednesday a man died after a collision between a camper van and a car on the Haast Highway, while another person was critically injured in the crash.

On Tuesday, an elderly woman died after being hit by a car north of Auckland and another person died on the Desert Road.

Three people were killed on Christmas Eve and three on Christmas Day, including two sisters in Tauranga.

A 20-year-old Auckland man appeared in the Tauranga District Court on Wednesday charged with manslaughter over the crash at Welcome Bay in Tauranga.

He was remanded and is due to appear in court again next week.

The official holiday period began at 4pm on 23 December and ends at 6am on 4 January. Last year, there were 12 fatalities in the period.