A two-year-old girl lay asleep on the floor of a moving car without a seatbelt, as two other kids slept without restraints on the back seat, police said.
The girl’s mother said she was there because she’d been crying.
Waikato police were shocked to find the children travelling without seatbelts during a routine vehicle stop in Hamilton yesterday.
The two-year-old was asleep between the legs of a passenger in the floor well. The other children were aged four and five.
It was "beyond unacceptable'' behaviour and the only way to really prevent road deaths was to change public perceptions of what was acceptable, Waikato police district road policing manager Inspector Freda Grace said.
"Given this incident comes just two weeks after the death of another unrestrained baby who died following a crash in the King Country, to find three unrestrained children is totally unacceptable.''
A police dog patrol stopped the car on Wairere Drive during a routine vehicle stop early yesterday morning. It was then that police noticed the child on floor.
"The child's mother explained the girl was there because she had been crying...''
Grace said children were "too precious to gamble on'' and everyone, but especially vulnerable children, needed to have seatbelts on in a vehicle at all times.