Holiday road toll drops to seven

Last updated 16:53 22/10/2012

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The Labour weekend road toll has been revised from eight to seven deaths amid a stern warning from police that the choices we make can have deadly consequences.

"Seven lives on the road are seven too many," police said today, after revising the toll down from eight.

Seven people were killed in four separate crashes between Friday afternoon and Saturday evening.

A 62-year-old man, who was killed in a crash near Queenstown on Saturday night, has had his death attributed to a medical episode, which means it has been excluded from the official road toll.

The choice to drink and drive, to speed or wear a seat belt are choices everyone can make, but police say people need to think about the "permanent consequences" that could follow a wrong decision.

"When people choose not to wear seat belts, to drink and drive or exceed the speed limit they need to realise that those choices have permanent consequences," newly appointed national manager of road policing Superintendent Carey Griffiths said.

"If you see your friends and family not following the basic rules, challenge them on it. You may save a life."

The official holiday period doesn't end until 6am tomorrow, but this year's toll was nearly on par to last year's, despite a reduced 4kmh speed tolerance.

During the same holiday weekend last year, eight people died in seven crashes, 17 people suffered serious injuries and 92 had minor injuries.

Griffiths urged those returning home this afternoon after a long weekend away to take extra care on the roads.

Labour weekend road toll

On Friday, Annalese Bacon, 17, died when the driver of the car she was travelling in lost control and the vehicle flipped at Reporoa, south of Rotorua.

Pregnant Timaru woman Lesley Suddens, 24, died in a crash, which also injured her husband and two children, near Timaru on Saturday afternoon.

Anne Elizabeth McCullough, 45, a mother of two, was jogging in rural New Plymouth on Saturday when she was killed in an alleged hit-and-run and her body was found slumped in the back seat of a vehicle.

Four people were also killed in a crash in Gisborne on Saturday night.

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