The holiday road toll is yet to record its first fatality, but a tragic christmas eve accident has blighted the festive season for one family.
So far, no road fatalities have been recorded in the official road toll period that began at 4pm on December 24 and will finish at 6am on January 3.
By Christmas Day last year three people had already lost their lives on the roads, with another two added by Boxing Day.
This year tragedy struck for one Taupo family on Christmas Eve when a three year-old boy was killed after being hit by a car in a driveway.
At about 9pm a woman was leaving a property on the shared driveway on Te Mako Mako Lane in Hatepe when the boy was hit.
Attempts to revive him were unsuccessful and police were investigating the incident.
The boy’s name will not be released until all next of kin had been advised.
Two Wairarapa men were lucky not to be killed after their vehicle was found at the bottom of a 20-metre bank this morning.
A farmer found the 4WD and trailer unit in a paddock on Waihakeke Rd, Carterton, at about 5.30am.
Both men were seriously injured and one of the men was trapped inside, Wellington Free Ambulance operations team manager Chris Matthews said.
Emergency services removed the men and took them to Wellington Hospital.
While the official toll stands at zero, one man in his 40s was killed hours before the period started on Christmas eve.
The man, driving a Mitsubishi Chariot, died in a collision with a truck on the Takapau plains in Hawke’s Bay at about 10am.
There were no passengers in the vehicle and the driver of the truck was unhurt.
Sergeant Ray Kirkby said the crash was a reminder to all on the roads to keep themselves safe and drive to the conditions.
‘‘We don’t want to see anyone else needlessly die on our roads this holiday season.”
On December 23 at about 11.30pm teenager Sonny Hone Waihi died after being hit by a car while walking on State Highway 56 between Palmerston North and Foxton.
The 18 year-old is understood to have been walking on the highway when he was hit outside the Rangioutu Memorial Hall.
This year the holiday road toll period is shorter at 9.6 days, while it ran for 11.6 days last year. Last year there were 19 fatalities on the road during the period.