Dramatic dashcam video has surfaced showing a motorist avoiding a serious crash by the narrowest of margins on a notorious stretch of Northland highway.

The driver, believed to be a firefighter who was on his way to work in Whangārei, captured the terrifying few seconds which shows a car losing control and skidding metres away from his car before colliding with an oncoming vehicle.

The driver dodged both cars as they headed towards him.

While he escaped harm in the crash that occurred on Smeaton's Hill about 8.30am on January 18, 2016, two people were seriously injured. The video footage has just surfaced publicly.


Northland's top traffic officer Inspector Wayne Ewers was at the scene shortly after the smash and said drivers needed to take extra care on wet roads.

At the time Ewers said it appeared a woman driving a southbound vehicle along State Highway 1, just south of Whangārei, lost control and crossed the centre line, colliding with a northbound vehicle.

Both drivers were taken to Whangārei Hospital by ambulance. A male passenger of the southbound vehicle was not injured.

Ewers said a third vehicle was involved after colliding with debris but no one was injured in that vehicle.

The female driver was convicted of careless use of a motor vehicle, causing injury.

The recording of the Whangārei incident has surfaced only a few weeks after a Northland logging truck driver released dashcam footage of many near-misses he had seen while driving the region's roads.

A triple fatality occurred just a kilometre south of Smeaton's Hill in November last year, prompting calls from road safety officials for urgent work to prevent further fatal and serious crashes.

The section of road they died on was described as "notorious" by Ewers, who was also called to the scene shortly after the triple tragedy.


Chairman of the Northland Regional Transport committee, Northland regional councillor John Bain, said the footage of the Smeaton's Hill crash was a prime example of when drivers did not drive to the road conditions and every driver should view it.

"Anyone could put themselves in this position and everyone should watch this video to understand that conditions can let you down even if you are driving a reasonably modern and maintained vehicle."

Bain said Smeaton's Hill was in a section of road south of Whangārei that local leaders had campaigned to have made into a four-lane highway.

However, in April Transport Minister Phil Twyford said the road was dangerous in parts, needs a lot of work done on it and it would be improved but four-laning was not an option. Passing lanes and barriers would be put in place to make the road safer.

Bain considered the extra lanes and barriers as a "stop-gap measure" until a four-lane highway could be built.