Road safety charity Brake is appealing for drivers to stay home and off the roads this Easter weekend to protect themselves and others.
Caroline Perry, Brake's NZ director said: "It's vitally important that we all follow the COVID-19 alert Level 4 restrictions and only drive if you're an essential worker, or going to access an essential service like the supermarket or medical services. We echo the calls of police and other agencies to please not drive unless absolutely essential, to protect yourselves and others, and to help keep pressure off our health and emergency services."
The charity is reminding people who do have to drive that they still have a responsibility to follow the road rules, following reports from some communities that with less traffic on the roads they are experiencing more instances of speeding. With more people out walking and cycling in their communities, including children out and about on Bear and Easter Egg Hunts, it's vital that drivers stay well below speed limits.
"It's fantastic to see more people out walking and cycling in their neighbourhood. If you're driving it's essential you stay focused on the road, and keep well below speed limits, to help protect those out on foot and bike. The faster you're going, the less time you have to react to an unexpected hazard, like a child running out in front of you, and the greater the risk of being involved in a crash and of someone being seriously hurt or killed," Ms Perry said.
Brake is also reminding drivers to always wear a seatbelt, even on short journeys, and if taking children, to make sure they are in a child seat suitable for their height and weight.
With wet weather forecast for some areas too, drivers are being reminded that it takes longer to stop in the rain, and that previous hot and dry weather may make some roads slippery, so it's important to slow down and increase your following distance.
Sadly eight people have lost their lives on our roads since alert Level 4 began . For anyone affected by a crash, Brake's online services are still available during alert Level 4. Advice and information for bereaved families, and for those caring for bereaved families, can be found at www.brake.org.nz/support.
 NZ Police figures, as of 8/4/20