Police are warning motorists to take extra care at a new roundabout after a spate of crashes.

Senior Constable Bruce Gordon said in the past two weeks, police had been called to four crashes at the new Paengaroa roundabout, which is at the intersection of State Highway 33 and SH2.

The Paengaroa roundabout, which opened in May, was built as part of the Tauranga Eastern Link and also to replace the black spot SH2-SH33 T-intersection.

Mr Gordon said the most recent crash at the new roundabout was yesterday morning when a 62-year-old man who was driving from Whakatane to Auckland was confused and drove around the new roundabout in the wrong direction.


The crash happened about 10am.

Mr Gordon said the driver, in a Mitsubishi Colt, collided head-on with a Ford Mondeo driven by a 41-year-old local woman, whose 5-month-old baby and 7-year-old son were also in the car.

Apart from the woman suffering bruising, she and her children did not need hospital treatment.

The 62-year-old man was taken to Tauranga Hospital for observation.

All passengers were wearing their seatbelts.

Mr Gordon said both damaged vehicles were towed from the scene and the male driver had been warned he would be charged with careless driving.