29 Mar 2013

Police out in force over Easter

10:17 pm on 29 March 2013

Police are warning motorists to drive to conditions during the Easter holiday weekend and officers will be enforcing a lowered speed tolerance limit.

Drivers who travel more than 4km/h over the limit face tougher enforcement.

Police say while the focus is on speed, wearing seatbelts, alcohol and distractions, other factors such as dangerous or slow driving can also cause accidents.

National road policing manager Superintendent Carey Griffiths says police will be highly visible over the weekend targeting hotspots.

Mr Griffiths says the road toll is dependent on decisions by individual motorists, and failure to follow the basics kills people.

Many alcohol and drug tests of motorists will be carried out with a particular focus on rural roads, as it is known that drivers in country areas are a particular risk with respect to alcohol, he said.

Traffic steady

The police in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch say traffic on Easter Friday was steady but nothing out of the ordinary.

They say general road behaviour has been good, apart from one motorcyclist who outsped police during a chase on Friday morning, after he was found to be speeding in Paraparaumu.

However, there were two injury accidents in Bay of Plenty on Friday.

One person was seriously injured when a car crashed into a ditch in Edgecumbe just after 4pm.

The Fire Service says that person has serious injuries with broken bones but another was unscathed.

And a motorcyclist has severe head and stomach injuries after crashing on a sharp bend just before 3pm.

The Bay Trust Rescue Helicopter says the crash happened in Ngakuru, 25 kilometres southwest of Rotorua.

It says the motorcyclist was airlifted to Waikato Hospital for emergency surgery.

Cyclist killed

However, hopes for a fatality-free Easter weekend were dashed with the death of a cyclist north of Timaru on Thursday night, just hours after the official holiday period began.

Police say a 50-year-old local man was killed in a collision with a truck near Temuka about 6pm.

The official holiday road toll period began at 4pm on Thursday and ends at 6am on Tuesday.