Police are asking motorists to be cautious this weekend as many holidaymakers are set to be going home in time for the return of work.

The official holiday road toll increased by one, to 20, after a woman who was critically injured in a crash south of Hastings on 30 December, died in hospital on 4 January.

Over the past year, 343 people died on the roads.

Superintendent Steve Greally said many people would be travelling home this weekend to resume work on Monday.

Motorists should expect congestion, and avoid distractions like mobile phones, Greally said.

“Make sure everybody’s got their seat belt on of course, making sure you’re not impaired by alcohol, drugs or fatigue, making sure you’re not distracted by cell phones or anything else – and of course the most important thing is speed – making sure you’re driving at or below the speed limit.”

Far too many people died on the roads in New Zealand and driving at or below the speed limit could save lives, he said.

“We’ve got to consider we’re still in the bottom 25% of the OECD in terms of road safety, so we’ve got a long way to go.”