Easter road toll at 2, drivers warned to take care

A second person has been killed on the road this Easter Weekend and police are urging drivers to take extra care as they make their way home from the holiday break.

Traffic was building as thousands of commuters return to main centres on Monday following the long weekend. Wet weather was set to hamper the return journey, with rain falling across much of the country.

Police have confirmed that one person died following a two-car crash at the Awakino Tunnel on State Highway 3 north of New Plymouth at 1.20pm today.

The major route connects Taranaki and Waitomo and was likely to be closed for the rest of the day, a police spokeswoman said.

“Motorists are being asked to avoid the area."

Yesterday, a motorcyclist died after coming off their bike in Masterton on Saturday night.

The Easter Weekend road toll started at 4pm on Thursday and ends at 6am on Tuesday.

Police said people need to plan ahead and follow the basics of road safety.

“We want everyone to arrive safely at their destination these Easter holidays,” police said.

NZ Transport Agency acting director safety and environment, Niclas Johansson, said congestion and delays were inevitable during holiday periods, so they also wanted to remind everyone to leave plenty of time for their journey, drive to the conditions and plan ahead before leaving home.


• Drive at a safe speed – depending on weather and other conditions this may be lower than the posted speed limit.

• Always wear a seatbelt.

•Don’t drive when tired and avoid alcohol.

• Focus on the task of driving - distractions can be deadly, so put your phone away and keep your focus on the road.