The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (Sunday 21st November) is a chilling reminder of the impact which crashes have on so many lives.
Around the world 1.3 million people are killed every year on the roads - with 50 million injured. In 2009 384 of these fatalities were in New Zealand.
Last weekend saw a horrific number of deaths on New Zealand's roads says Superintendent Paula Rose, National Manager, Road Policing.
"Each of these victims have families who are now devastated by what has happened to their loved one.
"Behind these statistics are parents, spouses, siblings and children who are now mourning.
"This shouldn't happen to any family, so don't let it happen to yours.
"With Christmas approaching all drivers need to think about their actions to ensure a time of celebration does not become a tragedy. One mistake can cost a life.
"Police are focused on ensuring no family is deprived on a loved one.
"But drivers need to play their part by understanding that speed, alcohol and crossing the centreline are factors in so many of these needless deaths.
"All road users, no matter how vulnerable, have a right to be safe on our roads.
"Only we can make that happen."
The day also recognises those emergency workers who deal with the aftermath of crashes.
"These events can be devastating for our staff, who must clear up after each of these tragedies and deliver the news which no family wants to hear.
"I urge New Zealand drivers to reflect on the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims and ensure that, through one mistake, they do not become part of a horrifying global statistic.
Grant Ogilvie, PNHQ media team: 04 474 9476
After hours pager: 026 101 082
The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims is marked every third Sunday in November following a UN resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 26 October 2005.
Current road toll figures for New Zealand can be found on the website of the New Zealand Transport Agency: