The head of the police association says motorists who flee police are being given an incentive "to have a go" and fears more innocent people could be killed.

Police Association president Greg O'Connor said an increasing number of motorists did not fear the consequences when trying to evade police.

"They know that if they go fast enough, police will eventually pull out. But in making themselves go faster they are killing themselves and occasionally, innocent parties."

"What we have done is incentivised people to have a go. Herein lies our exact problem," said Mr O'Connor.

His comments follow the deaths of two men yesterday morning who fled police on two occasions, in Mount Maunganui and Papamoa, before crashing in Te Puke.

They men had not been named late yesterday.

The fatal smash brings the number of people who have died in police pursuits this year to 18 in 12 pursuits - the worst on record.

The previous highest was six deaths in 2008.

Mr O'Connor said the maximum fine for drivers fleeing police was $10,000, but this was rarely imposed.

"People just aren't afraid to have a go when they see the blue and red lights go on," he said.

"There is no simple answer but we need the courts to impose more realistic sentences for these people, not only those who try to get away but those who refuse to give up the names of the registered owners."

Police were about to abandon yesterday's chase the driver lost control just before a bridge at Ohineangaanga Stream about 5.15am.

Inspector Mike Clement said the man driving a sports utility vehicle had taken "extreme actions" to evade police, including driving around a set of road spikes.

Skid marks stretching nearly 80m were visible at the scene leading to a grassy bank where the vehicle hit a lamppost and was briefly airborne before it crashed into a tree.

One of the pair was killed instantly. The other died shortly after paramedics arrived at the scene on the verge of the industrial and urban boundaries in Te Puke.

A business owner said he saw security camera film from his shop front showing the car speeding past seconds before the accident.

"Whoever was driving would have been doing well in excess of 100 km/h," he said.

"They were absolutely flying past, their lights were just a blur."

The Western Bay of Plenty area commander, Inspector Mike Clement, said police were in a difficult position when it came to offenders fleeing or drivers failing to stop.

"Those who flee from police put themselves and innocent road users at risk, with the ultimate tragic outcome in this case."

In July, Police Minister Judith Collins met Police Commissioner Howard Broad to discuss recommendations for police pursuits after reviews by the IPCA and police.

The IPCA report questioned whether police should start high-speed chases for minor offences such as speeding, property theft or suspicion of crime.

The authority analysed 137 pursuits in the five years to December 2008 and found that 24 people were killed, 91 seriously hurt and 122 had minor injuries. Police make about 2000 pursuits a year, and one in four ends in a crash.