Two people have been killed and several others seriously injured on Bay of Plenty roads over the past two days.

Two cars collided head-on on State Highway 2, Waiotahi, about 8.20pm on Thursday.

Police said one driver died at the scene and the other driver was taken to hospital in a critical condition.

It was followed by a second fatal crash in the Eastern Bay just hours later.


A 4WD crashed and rolled on Reid Rd, Ruatoki, at 12.30am today, killing the driver who was the sole occupant.

The serious crash unit is investigating both crashes.

Police were working with next of kin to identify the victims and post-mortem examinations were scheduled to be held today.

Both cases would be referred to the coroner.

Then, late this morning a car crashed into a power pole near Taneatua.

Police were called at 11am to the crash, on White Pine Bush Rd near Station and Downard Rds on State Highway 2.

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One person was taken to Rotorua Hospital with serious injuries.

Diversions were in place at Station and Taneatua Rds on State Highway 2 while police turned the power off to fix the damaged power pole.

Meanwhile, a crash that blocked one of the region's busiest highways today was caused by a driver stopping to allow ducklings to cross the road.

Two people were taken to Tauranga Hospital after the crash, which happened about 8.15am on Te Puke Highway formerly State Highway 2.

Senior Constable Bruce Gordon said a car travelling about 5km north of the township had slowed down and stopped to allow a group of ducklings to cross the road.

A truck travelling behind the vehicle was not able to stop in time and crashed into the rear of the car.

Mr Gordon said in a situation like that, it was better to continue travelling with the traffic flow rather than stopping when there was other traffic on the road.

St John ambulance officers took two occupants of the car to Tauranga Hospital with minor injuries.

The ducklings did not survive.

There have been 278 road deaths so far this year, up on 264 at the same time last year.

It has been a disastrous week on New Zealand's roads with 15 people losing their lives in the past seven days.

National road policing assistant commissioner Dave Cliff said the spate of deaths was unusual.

"Every death on our roads is a tragedy and 15 families who have lost a loved one are now dealing with the aftermath," he said.

"It is saddening to see so many people dying on our roads because the majority of road crashes can be prevented by taking some simple steps to ensure your safety, and the safety of other road users.

"One of the biggest ways you can reduce your risk of being involved in a crash is to be mindful of other road users, and changing your driving to ensure you and your vehicle's occupants arrive at your destination safely.

"We know people sometimes can make mistakes and the way you drive needs to allow for mistakes others may make.

"Being alert and aware of other road users means changing your driving to suit the conditions," he said.

"We also know if you are involved in a crash, regardless of the cause, speed and restraints are the factors that most affect the outcome.

"It's the difference between serious injury and death, being maimed for life or walking away."

Drive to survive:
• Be alert and aware of other road users
• Change your driving to suit the conditions, including the weather, changes in traffic levels and road conditions
• Watch your speed
• Reduce your speed in adverse conditions
• Allow enough time for your journey and don't rush
• Make sure you and everyone in your car wears a seat belt or has the appropriate restraint
• Drive considerately - the way we drive affects others
• Check everyone in your vehicle is wearing a seat belt or appropriate child restraint
• Stay 100 per cent focused on the road, every time you're at the wheel