Two road crashes within hours in Whangarei yesterday marked the start of the long weekend that will see an increase in marked police patrol vehicles on state highways and suburban roads.



Both crashes were cleared before the start of the weekend traffic rush, particularly north-bound traffic.



About 2.30pm, the 16-wheel trailer of a truck flipped almost upside down on State Highway One, before the Marsden Pt Rd in Ruakaka. A passing St John ambulance was not required as no one was injured.



About three hours later, a car driven by a 65-year-old woman ploughed into a tree on Kiripaka Rd in Tikipunga.

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Constable Grant West-Hill said the woman, heading towards Tikipunga, was seen veering from side to side, but within her lane, prior to the crash. About 50 metres before the crash, the car bounced off a grass verge and narrowly missed a power pole, he said.



Alcohol was not suspected by police.



The woman suffered chest pains and was taken to the Whangarei Hospital by St John paramedics.



The car's bonnet and assorted parts caved in and its windscreen smashed as a result of the impact.



Police indicated they would operate a speed tolerance of 4km/h over the posted speed limit this weekend.



Police patrols will target alcohol, restraints, cellphone use, speed, dangerous behaviour, slow drivers and drivers crossing the centre line.



Queen's Birthday Weekend officially starts at 4pm on Friday, May 31, and ends at 6am on Tuesday, June 4.