For most of us the weekend's rain provided little more than an inconvenience.

Symptoms included a backlog of washing, rained-out barbecues and the onset of cabin fever.

But one wonders if maybe it had more dire consequences given the forgettable weekend on the country's roads, where nine people were killed between Friday and the early hours of yesterday.

Read more: Editorial: Is it time for a new botanical dawn for Hastings?
Editorial: Take a deep breath and let talks take their course

As of yesterday the road toll for the year stood at 292 - more than 40 more than the same time last year. But it gets worse - police predict a further 60 people will die on New Zealand roads this year.


It's hard to fathom, given education, headlines and awareness are at an all-time high.
Maybe the rain was a contributing factor.

Anyone who watched the Bathurst 1000 race highlights - namely six hours of pouring rain - was treated to uber-fast wiper blade speed, V8s spinning out of control and the consequent crashes.

We all know the dangers of when rain meets driving - but one wonders, even with such knowledge, whether it curbs the collective speed. In our modern-day haste to get to our destinations it seems it's a pipe dream to slow down - despite the diminished traction, stopping distances and visibility.

While competitive racing can't be set against our public motoring, road policing national manager Superintendent Steve Greally yesterday came close to comparing the carnage:

"The last four years have been particularly gruesome - a battle zone [on the roads]. If we can get under 350 [deaths] this year, I would take that as some sort of victory".

Motorists' shared respect and responsibility would go some way to preclude such grim tidings.