Plunket Otago-Southland car seat services manager Kathryn
Impelmans checks 21-month-old Luke Payne's car seat in
Invercargill. Photo by Allison Beckham.
Dunedin children got a perfect score in the latest
Ministry of Transport survey of restraint use in vehicles.
The results from the ministry's observational survey in
October last year revealed that nationally 98% of children
aged between 5 and 9 were in a child seat, booster seat,
child harness or adult seatbelt.
Of the metropolitan areas, Dunedin was at the top of the list
with a perfect 100%, with all 204 children surveyed being
Northern and Western Auckland also got perfect scores.
Southern Auckland was at the bottom of the metropolitan areas
with 84% of 409 restrained.
Dunedin had the most children (40%) in booster seats, child
seats and harnesses and Southern Auckland the fewest (8%).
Police figures released to the Otago Daily Times under
the Official Information Act revealed a similar trend.
Police issued 137 infringement notices to motorists who had
failed to restrain a 7-year-old in the first two months after
a new child restraint law change.
The law change on November 1 required any child under the age
of 7 to be properly restrained in an approved child
If the child is 7, an approved child restraint, if available,
must be used, otherwise a safety belt, if available, must be
New Zealand Police issued 1572 infringement notices between
November 1 and December 31 last year to motorists who had
failed to ensure a child aged 7 and younger was in an
approved child restraint.
Of those 1572 children, nearly 9% were aged 7.
The most infringement notices were issued in Counties-Manukau
(24%) and Eastern (20%) police districts and the fewest were
issued in Tasman (1.2%) and Southern (1.7%).
Plunket Otago and Southland car seat services manager Kathryn
Impelmans said the perfect Dunedin score was ''positive'' and
revealed caregivers were ''trying to do the right thing by
The feedback to Plunket was the children were happier in
booster and child seats because they were more comfortable
and had a better view out the window than when wearing an
Dunedin police road policing manager Senior Sergeant Phil
McDouall said one person was ticketed in a Dunedin police
operation this month for having a passenger, aged 15 or