Road toll 'awful'; police out in force this weekend

Ten more people have died on southern roads this year than in the corresponding period last year; and ahead of the busy holiday weekend, police are saying they have had enough.

Fourteen people have been killed in crashes in the South so far this year, including two deaths last weekend. Hayden Lloyd Mapp (34), of Hawea, died in an early morning crash, and Brodie Carroll (19) died in Dunedin Hospital after being struck by a vehicle near Gore on May 17.

This compared with four deaths during the same period in 2013.

''This is an awful statistic - but behind the facts are many lives that have been lost and people who have been impacted for life,'' acting Southern district road policing manager, Sergeant Geoff Sutherland, said.

''Tragically, in many of these crashes, alcohol appears to have been a factor, as have poor choices about driving behaviour.''

To ensure they reached their destination safely, drivers were urged to wear safety belts and make sure passengers did too, drive to the conditions and not drink and drive.

Police hoped this weekend's road toll would be zero, the same as last year.

Officers would be out in force this weekend, targeting poor driver behaviour.

Across the country, officers were involved in the national ''Make It To Monday'' campaign, which included a highly visible presence on the roads.

Officers would be targeting drink-driving, the wearing of seat belts and driving to the conditions.

While the weekend's forecast looked promising, motorists should be prepared for winter weather, as ''we still need to drive more slowly and be cautious of frosty mornings and hazards such as black ice'', police said.

Southern District Command Centre deployment co-ordinator Senior Sergeant Matt Scoles said there was a high police presence around the Southern region yesterday, with officers targeting all aspects of driving.

The operation was part of the nationwide Fatal Free Friday and Queen's Birthday.

So far, drivers in the region had been relatively well behaved, he said.

 

 

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