Anna Leask is senior police reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

2016 road toll: Sixteen dead so far

A man injured in this January 3 crash near Okere Falls on State Highway 33 later died in hospital. Photo / Stephen Parker, Daily Post
A man injured in this January 3 crash near Okere Falls on State Highway 33 later died in hospital. Photo / Stephen Parker, Daily Post

Sixteen people have died so far this year on New Zealand roads -- more than one for each day of 2016 so far.

Police are desperate to prevent further deaths and have appealed to people to make smart decisions to ensure they are driving responsibly.

National road policing manager, Superintendent Steve Greally, said education and police enforcement were two aspects of keeping the roads safe but drivers and the decisions they make are also an important part of the road safety picture.

READ MORE: Southland river crash victim 'a typical Kiwi bloke'
'Heartbroken' loved ones mourn crash victims

"As the driver of the vehicle, you are responsible for making smart decisions that enable those in the car with you, and other road users, to get to their destination unharmed," Mr Greally said.

"This means if you are tired, make the right decision to pull over safely and take a break.

"Concentrating on the road does take a lot of effort. Don't underestimate the impact this has on your ability to concentrate and to react in an emergency. By taking a break, you can come back onto the road refreshed and give the road your full concentration, which it needs."

Mr Greally said drivers also need to remember that not all roads are created equal.

"Many of New Zealand's roads are unforgiving and leave no room for mistakes," he said.

"Check your speed, and know that the speed limit is the maximum speed you can travel at safely in ideal conditions.

"The decisions you make as the driver could be the difference between a great summer and one marred with the pain and devastation a fatal crash causes."

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 29 Sep 2016 10:36:13 Processing Time: 451ms