An Australian tourist faces multiple charges after a three-car pile-up near Hobbiton injured seven people, one critically.
The man appeared in the Hamilton District Court yesterday after a horror Easter long weekend in which six people died on New Zealand roads, triple last year's toll and the highest number since 2010, when 12 people died.
Two of the dead include Hamilton brothers, Arteen Mosaferi, 4, and Radeen Mosaferi, 2 months old, who died after a crash involving four southbound vehicles on the Desert Rd on Good Friday.
Waikato Senior Sergeant Pete Van De Wetering said the man was due to leave the country this weekend, but police want him to face the charges as one person suffered critical injuries and another has serious injuries.
The pile-up was one of two on the same stretch of road at the weekend.
Police allege the Australian tourist pulled in front of an eastbound vehicle about 9.15am, at the intersection of SH29 and Hopkins Rd, near Hobbiton. The resulting three-car pileup injured seven, including a pregnant woman and her two children in a parked car.
"This was the second serious crash in two days on SH29 in this area and there is nothing [wrong] with this part of the road," he wrote on Facebook.
Both crashes were allegedly caused by "clear inattention by the drivers", Van De Wetering told the Herald.
Van De Wetering also gave an insight into what officers were confronted with during the four-day weekend: alleged drunk drivers and a barrage of speedsters, including one snapped on State Highway 25 at Waitakaruru travelling at 165km/h.
He said it was "frustrating" pulling over people driving so fast when an exorbitant number of people continue to die as a result of crashes.
Another driver pulled over after a motorist was so concerned about poor driving blew 900mcg - nearly four times the legal limit of 250mcg.
The person had already clocked up two convictions in the past four years and was on a zero alcohol licence. The person was suspended from driving and had their vehicle impounded.
Later that night in Hamilton an alleged recidivist drunk driver pulled over on Greenwood St blew 994mcg.
Early Sunday, several drivers were caught speeding on the windy and narrow Waeranga Rd - one was going 141km/h, another 130km/h and another 120km/h.
The same day another driver was clocked at 189km/h on Tahuna Rd and summonsed to appear in court on a charge of dangerous driving.
Others caught included a driver travelling at 174km/h, a V8 Mustang driver doing 149km/h on SH39, a 17-year-old going 134km/h and another going 169km/h on SH25 at Waitakaruru.
Van De Wetering said although the two serious crashes in the Waikato were not speed-related, speed contributed towards the impact and severity of injuries.
"The causes of serious crashes are also spread among other factors and one is distraction, which is a big problem and a contributing factor to that is people on cellphones."
He said people only had to watch cars that had either stopped at traffic lights or as they travelled along the road to see the eyes of the driver looking down.
"The other day I saw a person driving past and she had her phone up in her hands at the top of the steering wheel."