Traffic moving out of the main centres was encountering few difficulties this evening, as many people started their Christmas holiday break.
Shortly after 5pm, the police northern communications centre said there were no major traffic problems drivers needed to be aware of.
In Wellington there were few problems, with the police central communications centre saying that, if anything, traffic was lighter than normal for a Friday evening.
In Christchurch there had been no reports of backlogs or major crashes.
Police reminded drivers that a reduced 4kmh speed tolerance came into force at 4pm and would remain through until 7am on January 7.
New Zealand and Australian police were taking part in a joint operation targeting the major causes of road deaths and injuries, police said.
Tactics would include the targeting of repeat traffic offenders, a focus on known hotspots, use of radars and speed cameras, and random roadside drink and drug testing.
“The message is simple: Stick to the speed limit, stay off the booze and make sure you get enough rest before heading away on your holiday to ensure a safe trip,” national manager road policing Superintendent Carey Griffiths said.
"Driving is a skill that requires our full focus, as you literally have your own life and those of passengers and other road users in your hands.
"Already there have been a number of fatal crashes in the lead-up to the holidays that have left families and loved ones devastated. Let’s not have any more families’ lives ruined this Christmas.”