As Northland's road toll starts to spiral the region's chief traffic officer has appealed to a small number of road users to stop making stupid decisions.
In the same week that Northland's road toll has risen to 20, nearly equal to last year's total of 22 fatalities, police had reports of dangerous driving which they believe could have added to the number of deaths.
Road policing manager Wayne Ewers said a 29-year-old female motorist was clocked allegedly travelling 151km/h, near Whakapara. Her driving behaviour led to another motorist making a formal complaint after the female motorist had overtaken them on a corner, forcing other motorists, including a logging truck, on to the shoulders of the road.
"I maintain if she had not been stopped it was just another serious or fatal accident waiting to happen and yet again another family grieving the loss of a loved one," Mr Ewers said.
The 29-year-old was immediately suspended from driving for 28 days and was summonsed to appear in Whangarei District Court, where she will face a charge of dangerous driving.
"A small number of our road users need to stop making stupid decisions. None of us are invincible," Mr Ewers said.
On Monday, just before midnight, a man died and a second suffered moderate injuries following a crash involving one vehicle on Rawene Rd, near State Highway 12. The road toll stands at 20 and there are still five more months of the year to go.
"It's extremely disappointing, especially when you see the amount of work going on to make Northland roads safe by a large number of agencies.
"Police are more visible and have spoken to more motorists this year in the past and yet we continue to see and receive reports of really bad driving behaviours," Mr Ewers said.
While there was no common thread between the fatal crashes this year, the safety messages to reduce the trauma and damage remained the same - don't drink and drive, ensure you are well rested before driving long distances, wear a seatbelt and drive to the conditions.
Mr Ewers said Northland's roads did not contribute to the road toll because if motorists drove to the conditions it reduced the opportunities for accidents to occur. He said road police had a number of strategies and tactics planned.
His parting safety message was: "Respect other road users, motorists need to take care especially around intersections as not all people using our roads can judge the speed of an approaching vehicle appropriately, ensure not only you but your passengers are buckled up before driving off."