Almost 7 per cent of children under 5 are not properly restrained in cars, a survey shows, and police say more could be done to ensure children are safe.
The Ministry of Transport survey found 93 per cent of children under 5 in cars were in an appropriate child restraint, but the rest, almost 7 per cent, were either improperly restrained or not strapped in at all. Three per cent were wearing adult safety belts and a further 3.2 per cent were completely unrestrained - including almost 1 per cent who were held on the knees of passengers.
Acting national road policing manager Inspector Peter McKennie said police wanted all children under the age of 7 to be in child restraints. Plunket's national adviser for child safety, Sue Campbell, said the results of the survey were positive, but she wanted to ensure parents were using the right restraint and it was installed correctly.
Ms Campbell said Plunket provided a community service to ensure children were in appropriate restraints for their size and they were installed correctly. Last year, the parents of a 12-week-old baby who died from injuries in car crash while allegedly unrestrained were charged with failing to provide the necessities to prevent injury. Alexandria "Lexie" Grace Navacilla was one of six people in the car that crashed near Aria, in the Waikato, on May 19.
She was allegedly being held on her mother's lap when the crash happened and police reported at the time that they found a car seat in the boot of the car.