Rotorua's road toll for 2016 is set to be the highest in more than five years.

Currently sitting at eight, this year's road toll is already three higher than for all of 2015.

The road toll hasn't been this high since 2010 when it reached 14.

Officer in charge of road policing Senior Sergeant Nicky Riordan said it would be hard to find a connection between any of the crashes or a particular reason why the toll was higher this year.


"They all differ slightly, some of them are related to mistakes being made, others we could suggest that fatigue was a factor."

She said the police were focused on safe driving and any death on the road was upsetting.

"Our whole focus is about preventing fatals, we want everybody on our roads to be safe.

"It's about never taking an eye off the ball and understanding that other people make mistakes."

Ms Riordan said with Labour Weekend coming up there would be extra police on the roads and the speed limit would be tight.

"If you are pulled over for speeding, expect to be given an infringement notice."

She said with summer in mind police would be focusing on the highways to make sure drivers were being safe.

"It's about making sure you are reducing speed, being free from in-car distractions, make sure everyone in the car is wearing an appropriate restraint."

Ms Riordan said another big thing was maintaining your car, especially now with many cars only needing a Warrant of Fitness check once a year.

"Just because our cars have a WOF, doesn't remove our responsibility to maintain our vehicles."

She said it had been widely recognised that fatigue was a contributor to crashes.

"Drivers need to make sure they are taking breaks, taking turns driving and it's good to have someone as a passenger.

"Sometimes as drivers we do have some warning signs, we need to be responsible as drivers and recognise when we are feeling fatigued."

Ms Riordan said as the school holidays ended there would be more people on the roads which meant people needed to be more careful.

Meanwhile, a Serious Crash Unit investigation into a fatal crash involving three cars on State Highway 5 near Tumunui on August 21 is ongoing, as police wait to interview the driver of one of the cars. He remains beside his wife's bedside in Waikato Hospital.

The investigation into a bus crash on April 30 that took the life of Eileen Rangituiwa Gardiner is also ongoing as are several other investigations into the other six fatal crashes this year.

People who have died on Rotorua roads in 2016

January 5: Teresa Diane Morgan, 50 - State Highway 5, Tarukenga
January 5: Monty Broughton, 68 - State Highway 33, Okere Falls
March 2: Steven Ioane, 30 - Ngongotaha Rd, Ngongotaha
May 1: Eileen Rangituiwa Gardiner, 48 - Te Ngae Rd, Rotorua
June 5: Bharatbhai Patel, 51 - Duncan Rd, Kaingaroa
August 7: Moana Matthews, 17 - Tarewa Rd, Rotorua
August 21: Helen Knox, 49 - State Highway 5, 5km south of Rotorua
September 9: James Simerka, 42 - intersection of Rehi and Whirinaki Valley rds, Ngakuru

Tips on avoiding fatigue

- Get a good night's sleep before driving, preferably eight hours.
- Avoid driving during the hours when you would normally be sleeping.
- Share the driving when possible.
- Don't drink even small amounts of alcohol. It will make the effects of fatigue much worse.
- When taking long trips, plan your journey to include rest breaks, at least every two hours.
- Ensure you get plenty of fresh air.
- Snack on light, fresh foods. Avoid consuming fatty, sugary or carbohydrate-filled foods, which can make you feel tired.
- Take a friend with you on your travels who will help you stay awake.