Educating people on child restraints

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Seatbelt Safety . . . Road Policing Constable Shawny Hokai checks to see baby Quinn’s (9 months old) seatbelt is secure. PHOTO: VALU MAKA

Operation Star (Safer Tamariki Around Roads) continues to foster knowledge on child restraints within the Eastern Southland region.

Senior Sergeant Cynthia Fairley, of Gore, said the operation would hold checkpoints at different locations at various times of the day.

Police had been pleased with the response from the public and from parents so far, she said.

“There have been hundreds of vehicles checked, with some error rates being detected.

“Most of the time it’s about education and encouraging parents to find out how to safely install the car seats to keep their tamariki safe.”

Plunket received 16 referrals for further education on the matter and child restraints were installed for vulnerable children.

Plunket holds regular clinics in Gore.

“We would encourage parents who are unsure, need help in installing, or just checking their kids are restrained correctly to make an appointment,” Snr Sgt Fairley said.

Under New Zealand law it was mandatory for children under 7 to be secured in a suitable restraint.

“You cannot put a value on having your tamariki restrained correctly, especially when they are involved in a crash or impact.”

Her main message to parents and guardians was:” If in doubt – get it checked out”

Parents or guardians who want to learn more about child restraint safety can go to injurypreventionsouthern@plunket.org.nz