Police say Oamaru's ageing population of drivers is becoming a concern as the number of fatal crashes on Waitaki roads spiked, with six deaths in 2011.
Last week, the Ministry of Transport released a Motor vehicle crashes in New Zealand 2011 report, comprising data taken from reports by police who attended fatal and injury crashes.
In the year ended December 31, 2011, there were a total of 81 crashes in the Waitaki region. Seventy-six people were injured and five crashes were fatal.
Oamaru police Highway Patrol Sergeant Peter Muldrew said six deaths in a year was a spike for the region.
"If you look at the last 10 years, Waitaki usually has around two to three fatalities in a year so to get a spike of six is quite significant," Mr Muldrew said.
"When you're averaging two to three a year, it nearly doubles."
Mr Muldrew said most of those killed on the roads were usually aged between 18 and 25-years-old, but last year defied the trend.
"Waitaki doesn't usually differ from the rest of the country.
"The most fatalities are usually among the 18 to 25 years age group, but last year there were three fatalities of people aged over 70."
Oamaru's ageing population was becoming a concern to police.
"It's on the increase, that's Toll alert for older drivers
quite a concern for us," he said.
He encouraged older drivers to attend a refresher course.
"The Waitaki District Council offer a really good refresher course for older drivers," he said.
"We'd encourage people to do that."
He said older drivers often picked up bad habits and were unaware of rule changes.
"They might still be a good driver, but they have developed bad habits," he said.
Waitaki Road Safety co-ordinator Elton Crane said the five-year trend of crash statistics was improving.
"We're striving towards zero fatalities, that's part of the bigger vision," he said.
Last year, Waimate recorded 24 injury crashes, of which one was fatal.
Mr Muldrew said common sense - as well as patience - on the roads would go a long way to reducing Waitaki's statistics.
"We've harped on for 20 years about speed and drink driving, but [the issues] still seem to be there and unfortunately people seem to keep doing it," he said.
"Just be aware of others around you."