8 Apr 2012

Police hoping for zero holiday road toll

5:09 pm on 8 April 2012

Police are hoping that for the first time ever there will be a zero road toll over the Easter period.

During Easter last year there were five deaths on the roads.

By Sunday morning, there had been 229 crashes on the roads since the start of the holiday period on Thursday afternoon but no one was killed.

Acting national road policing manager Rob Morgan is not sure why this Easter is so far free of road deaths.

"If I was looking at the figures for incidents that are coming into our call centres ... I'd say that not so many people are travelling, but other reports we get is about a lot of congestion on our holiday roads, especially up around Auckland."

Police say a man who died in hospital in Auckland after a crash on Saturday had a medical condition and the death will not be included in the road toll.

The lowest road toll during a holiday period was at Queens Birthday in 2010, when one person died from a road crash, Superintendent Morgan says.

The only other time when a road toll of one was recorded during a holiday period was more than 50 years ago.

Mr Morgan says motorists should not get complacent because no one has been killed on the roads this weekend.

He says Monday will be very busy and motorists need to plan their journeys accordingly.

Meanwhile St John Ambulance says it's been a quieter Easter than in previous years, because of fewer road accidents.

Middlemore Hospital's emergency department is also less busy. Supervisor Dave Grundy says half the usual number of patients have been treated on Good Friday and Saturday.

The official holiday period ends at 6am on Tuesday.