If the number of people who have died on New Zealand roads in recent days was not a reminder to motorists to be patient as they drive home from holiday hotspots today, then "nothing ever will be".
That's the word from director of the National Road Policing Centre Superintendent Steve Greally, who is pleading for motorists to take their time getting home today after seven people have died in four separate crashes across the country since Friday morning.
"There is likely to be congestion in various parts of the country as the holiday period finishes and people return home to work which unfortunately means people's tempers become inflamed.
"When we're angry and annoyed at things, we make irrational decisions. Just by taking that risk, it can cause tragedy. We've seen it far too often in this country. It's just not worth it."
Four people died after a truck and a van crashed near Ashburton on Friday morning.
The crash was not included in the official Queen's Birthday road toll.
Three people have died in separate car crashes during the official Queen's birthday 2021 period, which runs from June 4, 4pm to June 8, 6am.
One person was killed in Auckland after a ute crashed into a traffic light pole near the intersection of Alford St and Great North Rd, Waterview just after 3am on Sunday.
Meanwhile, one person died in a crash in the Waitaki district involving a ute and a motorcycle around 11.20am, also on Sunday.
And late Sunday night, one person died in a two-car crash on State Highway Three in Te Mapara, Waikato.
The Sunday evening crash brought the Queen's Birthday weekend road toll to three.
That equals the number of people killed on the road during Queen's Birthday in 2020.
Greally said the worst situation for any police officer is having to knock on someone's door to tell them their loved one wouldn't be coming home.
"From personal experience, I can tell you that is hardest job in police.
"Our people on that frontline do an amazing job. They will turn up to every crash scene, where it's serious injury or death. But we'd rather we didn't have to because as you can imagine those scenes are horrific. You can't possibly imagine. We have young cops out there doing a fantastic job but these mental scars stay with them for a very, very long time."
He urged motorists to not take any risks on the road while driving home today.
"Remember the holidays for the right reasons, rather than having to go to a tangi."
Weather warnings remain in place for Northland and Auckland today.
It has been a wet Queen's Birthday weekend for many parts of the country with the downpours expected to continue today, especially in Northland, where a heavy rain warning is in place until 1pm and 150mm of rain is expected
Driving conditions could be hazardous as surface flooding and slips are possible during the heavy rain.
In holiday-hotspot Coromandel Peninsula, up to 150mm of rain around the hills and up to 100mm near the coast is forecast, and motorists have been warned of possible surface flooding and slips.
In Auckland, periods of heavy rain are possible today as well as northeast winds that could become strong in exposed places.