Police will dish out poppies to careful motorists over the three-day weekend in the hope they won't be joining the long lists of New Zealanders already remembered on Anzac Day.
Eastern Police District road policing manager Inspector Matt Broderick said the poppies had been gifted by the RSA to be given to safe drivers, at roadblocks and checkpoints, as officers try to stop a repeat of the tragedies that marred Easter and also some other extended Anzac Day breaks.
The provisional national road toll for the period from 4pm on April 1 (a Thursday) to 6am on April 6 is eight deaths – an average of just under two a day and the worst Easter toll since 2010.
It was at least as bad as in the three three-day weekends in 2014, 2015 and 2016, when 17 people died and 62 were seriously injured.
Peak risk time is likely to be in the four hours after the police and Ministry of Transport road toll period starts at 4pm on Friday, but police are mindful that people travel to a lot of events, including Anzac Day commemorations, held mainly on Sunday.
Crash investigations from the 2014-2016 Anzac Day weekends identified poor handling and failing to give way as significant factors, likely to have been caused by excessive speed in the conditions, distraction or impairment.
Broderick drew particular attention to the Napier-Taupō highway and State Highway 51, the coastal route between Napier and Hastings, saying police want to thank those who "instinctively" drive to the conditions.
Speed monitoring shows most do, with the median speed on State Highway 5 (Napier-Taupō) being recorded at 81km/h.
Public consultation is currently being carried out on proposals to lower speed limits on much of the two roads to 80km/h.
"Police want to thank those motorists that instinctively drive to the conditions on SH5, whilst at the same time encourage others to remember to slow down, phone down, buckle up, and drive sober this Anzac weekend."
"Driving too fast for the conditions is one of four main behaviours contributing to death and injury on our roads, along with driving while impaired by alcohol, drugs or fatigue; driving while distracted," he said.
Distractions include using a mobile phone; and not being properly restrained, both of which are illegal and can be punishable by fines.