Just over halfway into January the road toll for the year is more than what it was at the same time last year.

This year's fatalities average at just over one a day with 19 deaths in 18 days.

The Ministry of Transport's latest figures show the 19 deaths happened in 17 crashes, compared to 14 deaths, in 14 crashes, at the same time last year.

One of the fatalities was a 17-year-old boy who died in a crash in central Auckland on Sunday afternoon.

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Police told the Herald the teen had been riding in the front seat when the car lost control and smashed into a tree on Ian McKinnon Drive in Eden Terrace.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing a dark car driving at speed moments before the crash.

After it happened the Fire Service worked for half an hour to free a person trapped in the wreckage. The other two injured in the crash were taken to Auckland City Hospital with moderate injuries.

The Ministry of Transport's figures indicate that of the road fatalities this year, 15 were male and four were female.

Eleven of those were driving, four were passengers, three were on motorbikes and one was a pedestrian.

One of the youngest to die on the roads this year was a 2-year-old girl who died after being flung from a rolling vehicle in the Hawkes Bay last week.

Among the deaths this year, three were young people under the age of 20.

NZH