Labour Weekend's record low road toll

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

The road toll for Labour Weekend stands as the lowest since records began.

The provisional toll stands at one - 16-year-old Ricky Pettigrew who died when the car he was travelling in hit a tree north of Katikati in the Western Bay of Plenty yesterday.

A number of other people were also injured, some critically, in crashes around the country.

Six people died on the country's roads last Labour Weekend, and another 112 were injured.

National road policing manager Superintendent Carey Griffiths said while it was pleasing to see a significant reduction in road deaths for the long weekend compared to last year, "it's no consolation to the family of the young man who was tragically killed".

"Let's also not forget the many more people who were injured in crashes, including those who are now fighting to recover from serious and life-threatening injuries.

"Our thoughts are with them and their families."

A woman remains in a critical condition in Wellington Hospital after a two-car collision on State Highway One at Paekakariki, north of Wellington, shortly before 4.30am on Sunday. A Capital and Coast DHB spokesman said another woman has had her condition downgraded from serious to stable, and a man had been discharged.

The condition of a motorcyclist who suffered life-threatening injuries after colliding with a vehicle and being flipped into the path of another rider in east Auckland yesterday was last night downgraded from critical to stable, and his condition was still listed as stable today.

The second motorcyclist injured in the crash, at Brookby, near Clevedon had moderate injuries.

Meanwhile in Woodville, a passenger in a car suffered moderate injuries in a collision with a train yesterday afternoon. The injured passenger was discharged from Palmerston North Hospital today.

Generally good driver behaviour, a highly visible police presence and lowered speed enforcement threshold of 4 km/h were significant factors in the record low number of fatalities, Mr Griffiths said.

The previous lowest number of fatalities over Labour Weekend since records began was two, recorded in 1977.

Three deaths were recorded in 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006.

"While it's excellent to see that most people are getting the message, there's no room for complacency, particularly as we get closer to the Christmas holiday period when large numbers of Kiwis are on the road," Mr Griffiths said.

"Our goal is for every road user to have safer summer, and police will be doing their part to help achieve that through a combination of activities throughout the holiday period."

The weekend's death brings the provisional total for the year to date to 204 - down 36 on the same time last year.

It also follows the zero fatalities recorded during Queen's Birthday Weekend this year.

The official holiday road toll period began at 4pm on Friday and ended at 6am today.

- APNZ

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