A teenage driver suffered life-threatening injuries when his vehicle hit a power pole in Whanganui on Wednesday morning.
Central District road police manager Inspector Brett Calkin said the 16-year-old was not wearing a seatbelt.
He was taken to Whanganui Hospital and then transferred to Wellington Hospital in a critical condition.
The crash happened around 8am on the corner of Anzac Pde and Rangitikei St. The teenager was the sole occupant of the vehicle.
The Serious Crash Unit was investigating.
The crash is "a sobering reminder of the consequences of not buckling up", Calkin said.
"It takes just a couple of seconds, yet it drastically reduces your chances of serious injury in a crash."