Safety checkpoint greets start of term

Police check restraints outside Ōrewa Primary.

Police cars and fluorescent vest-clad officials added to the bustle of drop-off time at Ōrewa Primary School on Wednesday July 24, when the Police’s back to school safety campaign came to visit.

The campaign saw Police, working with Auckland Transport and Plunket, visit schools across the Hibiscus Coast and Rodney to ensure all cars had seatbelts and car seats fastened correctly.

Waitemata road policing manager, Inspector Trevor Beggs, says the operation aimed to educate road users, not issue tickets.

“Our operations find that 80 percent of restraints aren’t fitted correctly,” he says.

“We have been doing safety checks for three years now, and in that time no children have been killed travelling to or from school. However, there have still been 18 serious injuries.”

Checks take place after the school holidays are over to ensure bad habits have not formed over the break. Ōrewa Primary’s check was on the second day of term three, and Dairy Flat Primary was checked on day one.

Police do not pre-warn schools so they can accurately gauge the risks and hazards at each location.

Inspector Beggs says Hibiscus Coast schools are good at wearing their seatbelts, so the checks tend to focus more on car seat safety.

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