A police operation targeting child restraints in vehicles has sent a message loud and clear that all kids in vehicles need to be restrained, including goats.
Over the past two days Eastern Bay of Plenty Police carried out an operation which involved checkpoints in Kawerau, Te Teko, Opotiki and Whakatane.
The operation was part of an Eastern Bay of Plenty road safety group initiative and involved Eastbay REAP, Te Puna Ora O Mataatua, East Bay Road Safety and Te Pou Oranga O Whakatohea.
Whakatane road policing constable Marty Sanderson says during the checkpoints an unrestrained goat has been discovered.
“It was odd seeing an unrestrained goat in a car, but the good thing was, all the human passengers had seat belts on.
“Although it’s not illegal to have an unrestrained animal in your vehicle, pets should be safely restrained with an appropriate harness or restraint, in a cargo barrier, cage or crate.
Road Policing Team Sergeant Ray Wylie was pleased with how the operation went.
"Faults identified included children not restrained at all, twisted shoulder straps, loosely fitted seats and children in restraints that were the wrong size.
“In almost every case where a child was found unrestrained, the driver was wearing a seatbelt.
“Police would like to remind drivers that it is their responsibility to ensure children in vehicles up to the age of 15-years-old are correctly restrained,” says Sergeant Wylie.
“Correct use of a child restraint can be the difference between life and death so it’s important to regularly check restraints to keep our children safe.”
Over the course of the operation, 166 child restraints were inspected by a technician, six child restraints were given to people who needed them and 33 infringement notices were issued, including 15 for child restraint breaches.