Zero tolerance on speed

Speeding motorists will receive zero tolerance from road police when the official holiday period begins later today.

Waikato road policing manager Inspector Marcus Lynam said action will be taken against any driver detected driving more than 4kmh over a permanent posted speed limit from 4pm today until 6am on January 7, 2013.

The announcement comes after a motorist was killed during a head-on collision at 5.20pm last night. It happened just north of the region's border at Mangatawhiri.

As of today, Waikato's road toll is the highest in the country with 44 deaths from 40 crashes whereas 50 people had lost their lives at the same time last year.

"As we've seen on Waikato roads too many people are driving too fast, this in turn affects their ability to react or to read the road properly and contributes to them losing control, crossing the centre line or leaving the road,'' Mr Lynam said.

A failure to keep left or remain in the right lane had been the biggest killer on this year with 25 people dying in 22 fatal crashes where a contributing factor was identified as a failure to keep left, Mr Lynam said.

"The second most common factor in road deaths was excessive speed with 14 people dying in 13 crashes while the third most common contributing factor was the use of alcohol, drugs or both with 15 people dying in 12 fatal crashes.''

Mr Lynam said in several cases people lost their lives in crashes that involved multiple contributing factors including one triple fatality crash in June in which three teenagers lost their lives at Gordonton.

''Of particular concern for police is that of the 40 fatal crashes in the Waikato so far this year, 15 happened on small rural roads while another 18 happened in rural locations on state highways.

"Road policing is a priority for the whole of Police. We will have a highly visible presence out on our roading network and have adopted a zero tolerance approach."

"By watching your speed you help improve your chances of surviving any unforeseen circumstances and the reality is, if you don't watch your speed, we will, and will take action to save lives."