Released to press 2/4/2013

Police say that despite a largely trouble free Easter weekend on the nation’s roads, the three people who died are still three too many.

Police were out in force over the break. There was a strong focus on enforcement of the normal lowered 4km/h tolerance that applies during holiday periods. Police also targeted drunk, dangerous and other unsafe driving behaviour in both rural and urban areas.

Last year was the first time since records began almost 60 years ago that no-one died during the official period.

National Manager Road Policing, Superintendent Carey Griffiths, said despite the number of deaths this weekend being the second lowest ever recorded, it was still devastating for those families and loved ones left behind.

“We tend to think of it as a number, but each number has a face, a name and a family. We seem to accept it, but it shouldn't be tolerated."

Mr Griffiths said drivers losing control and crossing the centre-line were common factors in two of the crashes.

"The fact is a lot of our roads don't have barriers, and the consequences of getting it wrong at 100 kilometres an hour are tragic," he said.

"Human beings are fallible, and crashes will occur. However, the incidence of injury or deaths can be reduced when we accept, comply with, and share the responsibility for using our roads safely."

Twenty people died on New Zealand roads in March this year, the lowest ever recorded for the month. The previous record low was 25 deaths in March 2011.

Easter road toll data including historical figures.

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