Extra police staff will be brought into the Bay of Plenty region in response to the region's tragic and already "grim" road toll.
Bay of Plenty road policing manager Inspector Brent Crowe told the Regional Transport Committee yesterday many of the Bay's crashes were preventable.
Thirty police officers will now be brought in to help police some of the region's most dangerous roads.
"The data shows us 40 people have died and of this 22 have died in major crashes," Crowe said.
"Around 50 per cent of these crashes have involved impairment, meaning fatigue, and distraction."
Crowe said heavy machine vehicles were involved in many of the fatal crashes "but a majority of times, they weren't at fault".
"It's pretty grim."
Crowe said the 30 officers will come into the region from around New Zealand and operate from June 1 to 30.
"It's a pretty rare opportunity for us so we will grab it with both hands."
The officers will focus on key arterial routes such at State Highway 1, SH2 and SH29 in the Kaimai Range.
Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick commended the actions of the police officers who attended crashes, such as the Atiamuri tragedy that killed seven including five members of a single family in April.
"The impact of that on the community was phenomenal. It must have been an incredible impact on police staff and we acknowledge that."
Crowe said police were committed to reducing the road toll but could not do it alone.
"Distraction features prominently in recent crashes in the Bay of Plenty and we need every road user to remain solely focused on driving their vehicle, thus giving themselves a much greater chance of getting to their destination safely."
Crowe said the number of drivers using cellphones was a major concern.
"This, along with driving at a safe speed, driving refreshed, not impaired by alcohol, drugs or fatigued and always, always wearing a seatbelt, remains the focus for all Bay of Plenty police."