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Speeding crackdown credited for fatality-free Easter

Published: 3:28PM Monday April 09, 2012 Source: ONE News

Police say reducing the speeding threshold from 10 to four kilometres has been one of the key factors behind the fatality-free Easter so far.

Superintendent Rob Morgan said police are also very happy with the reduced number of overall crashes over the long weekend from previous years.

"It's great... you know they're actually people who've survived and their families aren't grieving," Morgan said.

Morgan said this Easter road toll is likely to be the lowest since the Ministry of Transport records began in 1956.

The lowest road tolls on record is three deaths for the years 2003, 2002 and 1998.

Police are also thanking good weather and driving conditions for this weekend's success.

However, they are still urging as motorists to be cautious as they head home from Easter break, which officially ends at 6am Tuesday morning.

Congestion may slow trip home

State highway manager Brett Gliddon from the New Zealand Transport Agency is asking motorists to be patient today, as heavy traffic flows are expected in the Waikato, Coromandel and Bay of Plenty.

Gliddon said traffic will be heavier than the Easter average, as good weather in most regions encouraged more people to travel during the long weekend.

"Heavy traffic is particularly likely on State Highway 2 as people head back to Auckland," he said. 

"Congestion will add significantly to normal travel time. The agency will be monitoring traffic flows and will be assisting in keeping traffic flowing as much as possible."

Crash near Ruapehu

So far there has been no fatalities on the road this Easter, however there have been several serious accidents.

The latest was a two-car crash on State Highway 49 between Waiouru and Ohakune just before midday.

A 25-year-old Lower Hutt woman has been airlifted to Wanganui Hospital and one other person suffered minor injuries.