Nearly two years have passed since a Northland mother and her baby girl were killed in a head-on collision with a drunk-driver.
But for Kaiwaka Revival Church pastor Tawhiri Littlejohn, although life has gone on, he is sent back every day to the memory of his niece Janiah Fairburn and her 2-year-old daughter Azarliyah.
Littlejohn has called for road users to make better choices: "You can't take a life back once it's been taken."
His message was shared during this year's Road Safety Week launched on Monday.
People shouldn't get behind the wheel if they don't take road safety seriously, Littlejohn said.
"Other people have to suffer from their careless actions and so many times accidents could've been avoided."
With two previous convictions for drink-driving Aizaeah Tarawa, aged 19, was drunk, speeding and overtaking when he crashed head-on with the family's vehicle travelling in the opposite direction on State Highway 1, near Topuni, on March 30 last year.
Fairburn, 20, and her daughter, Azarliyah, died on the roadside while Fairburn's partner, Henare Hadfield, 20, suffered broken ribs and a punctured lung and 1-year-old son Te Tairawhiti Hadfield suffered a fractured neck.
A breath test revealed the teenage Aucklander had a breath-alcohol level of 768 micrograms - the limit for a driver aged 19 and under is zero.
Lawyer Julie Young said Tarawa acknowledged what he had done was unforgivable. He was sentenced to four years and three months' jail on the two charges of excess breath alcohol causing death, and on the two charges of excess breath alcohol causing injury, he was jailed for two years.
But for Littlejohn this bears little impact on the experience of losing loved ones, a pain he said "never goes away".
"Not a day goes by when somebody isn't talking about Janiah. Everyone has been hugely affected. It isn't the same and it will never be the same."
Brain injury Association Northland liaison officer Vikki Herdman said making positive choices was at the heart of safer streets in Northland communities.
"If you choose to drive drunk or drugged, if you choose to speed, if you choose not to wear your seat belt or helmet, if you choose to drive fatigued - you have no choice about the consequences," she said.
"You will live with them for the rest of your life. You may cause yourself or someone else a permanent disability."
Herdman said sadly, a lot of people in road crashes end up with brain injuries and that has a life-long impact on them, their families and communities.
"The good news is you can make safe choices. So please use your mind to protect your body. Remember a moment's distraction can cause a lifetime of change."
There have been 24 fatalities on Northland roads this year involving cars, trucks, motorbikes, and pedestrians. March marked the region's deadliest month with five road-related deaths.
People aged between 40 and 59-years-old have the region's largest representation this year with seven fatalities, closely followed by 25 to 39-year-olds at five deaths.
Last year's road toll concluded with 29 fatalities, and the highest number of monthly deaths was four in both January and March.
Northland road policing head Senior Sergeant Steve Dickson said it was up to everyone - not just police - to keep Northland roads safe.
"If you see someone intoxicated or impaired, do your best to stop them."
Dickson also stressed personal responsibility behind the wheel: "Be well rested, don't speed, and do not drive affected by drugs or alcohol."
This year Road Safety Week, which is coordinated by Brake and sponsored by QBE Insurance and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, has the theme Step Up for Safe Streets.
As part of the event Whangārei bridges are being illuminated yellow this week - organised by Yellow Ribbon Road Safety Alliance, Whangārei District Council and Northland Regional Council.
Maria Lovelock, NZ manager of Road Safety Education (RSE) and member of the Yellow Ribbon Road Safety Alliance, said they are encouraging people to think more deeply about road trauma and how communities can reduce it.
"Our aim in the Yellow Ribbon Road Safety Alliance is, as more people wear yellow and icons are lit up, people will start being more mindful of their journeys, not be complacent about road trauma or see the road toll as something we have to pay to travel - everyone deserves to get home safely."