Associate Transport Minister Simon Bridges is urging road users to do their bit to be safe on the roads these holidays.
"The 2012 road toll is already higher than the 2011 toll and we still have the busiest holiday period of the year to come. The seven tragic deaths in the central north island yesterday remind us why extra vigilance is needed in the Christmas season.
"It can be tempting to rush to see loved ones or to get on holiday sooner but the consequences can be irreversibly devastating.
"I urge you all to take care on the roads. Every road user must continue to take personal responsibility on the roads and stay safe," says Mr Bridges.
"The Police will be working hard to keep the traffic flowing and to help make your trip a safe one. Police will have a particular focus on speed and alcohol. They will be extending the period for the reduced tolerance on speeding from 21 December through until 7 January. I urge road users to work with them and drive responsibly."
During the 2011/2012 Christmas holiday period there were 15 fatal crashes and 285 reported injury crashes. Those crashes resulted in 19 deaths, 65 serious injuries and 335 minor injuries.
The Government has worked throughout the year to implement a number of road safety initiatives as part of its Safer Journeys strategy including new give way rules, an alcohol interlock programme for repeat offenders, power to weight ratio restrictions for motorcycles and competency based training and assessment for novice motorcycle and moped riders.
"Ultimately keeping safe on the roads this summer is up to all of us. Driving responsibly ensures everyone will get to share the holiday season with the people they care about. Have a happy and safe holiday break."
Do what you can to make our roads safe:
· plan ahead and allow plenty of time to get there to take the stress out of your trip
· be well rested before your journey and share the driving
· check your car's brakes, lights and tyres - think of it as your car's BLT
· drive to the conditions because every road and every journey is different
· don't drink and drive
· don't break the speed limit
· turn your mobile phone off
· expect the unexpected - over the holidays the road environment can be more unpredictable
The official holiday period begins at 4pm Monday 24 December 2012 and ends at 6am on Wednesday 3 January 2013.