The number of people killed on New Zealand roads in the past two weeks has dropped 75 per cent compared to the same time last year.

The number of crashes has also decreased significantly.

Police are urging Kiwis to keep off the roads as much as possible as the national lockdown continues.

As the country heads into a long weekend police are giving the usual road safety advice - but reminding people they must not travel away from home.


Ministry of Transport data provided to the Herald show that, since the lockdown began, eight people have died crashes.

In the same 14 days last year, 32 people were killed. Sixteen died in 2018 and 2017 and 8 in 2016.

So far this year, 88 people have died on the roads compared with 112 in the same 14-day stretch 2019, and 114 in 2018.

Ministry spokesman Dan Jenkins said it was too early to provide the number of crashes across the country since lockdown began.

"Complete information is not yet available in the Crash Analysis System," he said.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the nationwide lockdown on March 23 in response to the ongoing global spread of Covid-19.

The lockdown came into effect at about midnight on Wednesday March 25 and is in place for at least four weeks.

Everyone has to stay home, apart from those considered part of the "essential services central workforce".


The unprecedented action has seen the number of people on the roads drop significantly.

The NZ Transport Agency said yesterday that weekly traffic counts at State Highways in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Hamilton and Dunedin showed traffic had fallen by about 75 per cent compared to the same time last year.

Among the NZTA's main observations, Auckland traffic has fallen by 76 per cent compared to last year in the week to April 3, and there was a 66 per cent drop in light traffic and a halving of heavy traffic from the previous week.

Wellington traffic was down 82 per cent on last year, with a 66 per cent drop in light traffic and 75 per cent in heavy traffic - although that was partly affected by a road closure because of a crash.

In Christchurch, traffic was down 77 per cent on last year, with a 61 per cent weekly drop in light traffic and heavy traffic 61 per cent down.

From today, people could expect to see more police at checkpoints across the country focusing on holiday hotspots.


Police Commissioner Andrew Coster urged anyone planning to get away for a Easter break to "change your plans immediately".

"Travelling to and from different towns and cities risks spreading Covid-19, and puts lives at risk," a police spokesperson said.

"Travelling to the bach for a holiday is not essential travel and it is not permitted."

Anyone attempting "non-essential travel" would be turned around, police said.