Mums in car belt up themselves - but not kids

JOELLE DALLY
Last updated 05:00 19/10/2012

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Police officers were horrified when they pulled over a car at a random checkpoint in Christchurch to find three mothers in the car with three young children and a baby unrestrained.

Sergeant Tony Woodbridge said the car was stopped at a seatbelt and cellphone checkpoint on Riccarton Rd near Hagley Park about 5.15pm on Wednesday.

When officers approached the car, they were shocked at what they found, they said.

One woman was in the front passenger seat with a 3-year-old in the footwell between her legs.

In the back, another mother was holding her 9-month-old baby, despite a baby capsule being correctly fitted in the car.

A 7-year-old and 4-year-old were sitting beside her, also unrestrained.

The three women, all in their early 20s, were wearing seatbelts.

Woodbridge said the driver took responsibility but no explanation was given.

She was issued six infringement notices, totalling about $500, for allowing people to ride in a dangerous position in the vehicle.

She also had her licence taken away from her but passed a breath test.

Woodbridge said Child Youth and Family had been notified, as well as Plunket.

"The officers were quite shocked. We've got kids of our own and we were quite horrified," Woodbridge said.

"There's no real excuse for that. The children should have been in child restraints."

He said the car had airbags fitted in the dashboard, which could have had fatal consequences for the children, even in a low-speed crash.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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