1 Jan 2016

Holiday road toll rises to eight

1:48 pm on 1 January 2016

The holiday road toll has risen to eight following a fatal crash near Motueka early this morning and the death of an elderly woman yesterday from injuries received in a crash near Oamaru on Wednesday.

Traffic on SH1 south of Foxton.

Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

The holiday period started at 4pm on Christmas Eve and ends at 6am on Tuesday.

Police are reminding motorists to keep safe on the roads, especially over the next few days with more people travelling to and from holiday destinations.

Meanwhile, 2015 has wrapped with the highest road toll in five years.

A total of 321 people were killed on the road last year, with the number of men killed far outweighing the number of women.

About half of those killed were driving vehicles.

Associate Minister of Transport Craig Foss said the road toll was sad and disappointing.

He said while it was too early to say why the toll rose from 294 in 2014, data from the preceding two years showed drivers kept making the same mistakes.

Speeding and alcohol or drugs are the most common factors in serious crashes.