Speed-limit tolerance down

Drivers caught doing more than 4kmh over the speed limit will have a little less spending money over the holidays as police crack down on speeding motorists.

The official holiday period begins today, but the speed tolerance was reduced from Friday to cover the weekend.

Marlborough highway patrol head Sergeant Barrie Greenall said the speed tolerance was reduced from 10kmh to 4kmh starting on Friday and ending on January 7 at 6am.

Anyone caught doing 105kmh in a 100kmh zone or 55kmh in a 50kmh zone would be stopped by police.

The reduced speed tolerance was the same as outside schools year-round, Mr Greenall said.

"We're just mirroring what we do for schoolchildren all year for all motorists on the road," he said.

Extra road police would also be out in force as shifts and rosters were rejigged and days off were cancelled.

The Christmas campaign was part of Operation Crossroads, a joint New Zealand and Australian roading campaign to keep people safe during the holiday season.

Police were also focusing on drink-driving and would use alcohol checkpoints throughout Marlborough.

"We've already had four fatal crashes this year and two of those were influenced by alcohol," Mr Greenall said.

Police would focus on rural areas where people were still more likely to drink and drive.

"Rural drink-driving is a problem. Year after year we keep re-visiting the same problems," he said.

"Two families are already not having loved ones come home for Christmas. We don't want that number to go up."

The Marlborough Express