Cold start to long weekend

By Doug Laing

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There were short delays on State Highway 5 between Napier and Taupo early last night as contractors took precautions to prevent more serious hold-ups during Queen's Birthday Weekend.

The contractors spread composite on the road to counteract overnight frost at the start of what was forecast to otherwise be a mainly fine and rain-free three-day break in Hawke's Bay.

The temperature was forecast drop to 0C in Napier, and -1C in Hastings, but on some Central North Island roads the temperature was zero by 9.30pm.

Police said some icy conditions were expected today, with particular care needed in shaded areas, while MetService forecast sunny days and maximum temperatures about 15C in Napier-Hastings today and tomorrow.

There was at least one crash on the main highways, but no one was thought to have been seriously injured in the early incident on the Napier-Taupo highway about 4.25pm, when a car hit a bank about 100m east of the Titiokura Summit.

The incident was attended by police, fire and ambulance officers from Napier, about 40 minutes away.

Late last night, conditions on at least one corner in the immediate area were being reported by police to be "extremely slippery."

The Ministry of Transport's official Queen's Birthday holiday road toll period started at 4pm.

However, hopes of a fatality-free weekend dashed less than two hours later in the South Island with one person dead and seven injured after a four-vehicle crash on State Highway 1 near Dunedin.

The road toll for Queen's Birthday Weekend last year was five, but none were in Hawke's Bay, although emergency services attended four crashes in the region.

The weekend road toll period ends at 6am on Tuesday.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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