Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee is calling for people to take care and drive safely this long weekend.
"Many New Zealanders will want to take advantage of this long weekend and head away. It's important to drive to the conditions, check vehicles before setting off, use patience, and avoid taking risks," says Mr Brownlee.
“Police will be lowering speed tolerances for the month, sending a very clear message that unsafe speeds are not acceptable. I urge people to heed this message.
“2011 was a record low road toll, but we had a tragic spate of crashes over the Christmas holiday period. This January has also been marred by a number of serious crashes.”
Provisional statistics show 35 people were killed on the road in January this year. Last year there were 28 deaths over the same period.
“It’s also disturbing to see that failing to wear seatbelts has been a factor in recent crashes. Buckling up is a simple step we can all take – one that can mean the difference between life and death.
“This year the government will be continuing to work through the actions of its Safer Journeys road safety strategy, but if we are going to continue to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on our roads, we’ll all need to do our bit for road safety. Drive safe and have a happy holiday.”