It was a messy start to the long weekend for thousands of Aucklanders yesterday when a car crash closed part of the Southern Motorway, just before the official Queen's Birthday holiday period began.
The crash involved three vehicles, at least one of which hit the barrier near the Mt Wellington interchange just before 4pm.
Two southbound lanes were shut while emergency services cleared the scene, backing traffic up to Spaghetti Junction until early evening and prompting Transport Agency pleas for motorists to delay their travel.
Two moderately injured people were taken to Auckland City Hospital.
Before the holiday period began, police urged drivers to take care, particularly as the recent cold weather could affect driving conditions.
A police analysis of crashes shows accidents caused by everything from speed and alcohol to poor judgment and not driving to the conditions increase over the long weekend.
Assistant Commissioner Dave Cliff said police would focus on alcohol, seat belts and speed this weekend, using tactics such as routine breath testing and a lowered 4km/h speed tolerance.
"The message ... is really very simple: drive to the conditions, pay attention, don't drink and drive."
Queen's Birthday weekend officially ends at 6am on Tuesday.