Vehicle Restraints

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The Statistics

Preliminary crash data indicates that from the 1st Decmber 2015 to 31st January 2016, 22 deaths were associated with a restraint not being worn.

2015 - 2016 * Deaths = 64, No restraint worn = 22

2014 - 2015 * Deaths = 48, No restraint worn = 11

Seat belts save lives - it's that simple

National News 

With double the number of road deaths this summer associated with a seat belt not being worn, Police are co-ordinating an operation focusing on getting road users to buckle up.

Initial crash data indicates that over the summer period (1 December 2015 to 31 January 2016), 22 deaths were associated with a restraint not being worn. For that same period the year before, there were 11 road deaths associated with not wearing a seat belt.

“This operation is about having fewer victims on our roads, not issuing tickets. Seat belts save lives – it’s that simple.” says Superintendent Steve Greally, National Manager of Road Policing.

“It’s disappointing and frustrating that in 2016 we still have people not taking the extra few seconds to protect themselves by doing something as simple as buckling up, especially when everyone knows it saves lives.”

Ministry of Transport data shows that wearing a seat belt reduces your chance of death or serious injury in a crash by 40 percent. Regardless of whether you sit in the front or the back seat, the risk of serious or fatal injury is virtually the same.

The nationwide operation will run the week starting 29 February 2016, and while the main focus is on restraint use, Police will also be checking that drivers are not using their cell phones while driving, and everyone stopped will be breath tested.

Annual figures show a sudden increase in deaths associated with non-restraint use. There were around 57 deaths per year associated with non-restraint use from 2012 to 2014. In 2015 that figure jumped to 92.

“No family should ever have to bury a child or family member whose death could have been avoided by being properly restrained while in the car, says Mr Greally.

“Seat belts – it’s a no-brainer. The two seconds that it takes to fasten your seat belt may just save your life.”

Media Contact: Rachel Purdom,

Safety Belts and Restraints

Child Restraints

Information about the correct use of child restraints:

Child Restraints: 

  • Since November 2013 all child passengers up to 7 years of age, have to be restrained in an appropriate child restraint.
  • Approved child restraints include:
    • infant restraints for young babies (often called baby capsules)
    • restraints for older babies, toddlers and preschool children (often called car seats)
    • booster seats for preschool and school-aged children
    • child safety harnesses (used with or without a booster seat) for preschool and school-aged children.
  • The driver is responsible for ensuring that all passengers under the age of 15 are appropriately restrained.
  • The rules for child restraint use are for one purpose - to stop children from being killed or seriously injured when travelling in vehicles.  The death or serious injury of any child is a tragedy, and even more so when it can be prevented with the use of simple and widely available equipment like child restraints.

‘Down with speed’ ‘UP WITH SEATBELTS’‘Down with speed’ ‘UP WITH SEATBELTS’

Speed facts don’t lie!

• The likelihood of a casualty crash involvement doubles for every 5km/h above a 60km/h limit & every 10km/h above a 100km/h limit

• Around town, the likelihood of killing a pedestrian increases from 10% at an impact speed of 30km/h to 70% at 50km/h (SLOW DOWN around schools and pedestrian crossings)

• The slower we go, the greater chances of stopping short of the hazard ahead

• Winter is coming and it takes a further 25 metres to stop on a wet road than a dry road at 100km/h (drive to the conditions)


 On Sunday 7th May the Wairarapa Road Safety Council are teaming up with Mitre 10 Mega Masterton (am) & Martinborough (pm) to raise awareness around speed & seatbelts. Come and engage at the stall or try the ‘seatbelt demonstrator’, and be in to win an automotive prize pack from each store, and one of two child restraints or booster seats from the Road Safety Council.

Chocolates, information & giveaways for the kids as well. Schools, kindys & early childhood centres have access to road safety resources to run activities around road safety to make the kids aware of safety on and around the road.

The road safety council will also be out and about at our 5 towns over the week talking to locals, listening to their concerns & handing out giveaways as well.

Bruce Pauling, Road Safety Council Manager and ex 30 year Police road policing veteran, wants locals to focus on reducing speeds and ensuring seatbelts are worn by….’everyone…. every trip…..every time’ ‘Our biggest issue locally are crashes resulting from speed and loss of control on our rural roads. Not only that, but we also lag behind the national ‘seatbelt compliance’ rate.’

Pauling says that over the years we have made great strides in drink/ drive attitudes and  behaviour, but sadly our ‘lax’ attitudes to speed and seatbelts are responsible for far too many deaths and injuries both locally and nationally.

‘We have to change mind sets such as ‘we are only going up the road, I’m a safe driver, or I’ll decide what I’ll do in my own car. You cannot predict what other drivers will do and what may happen. Mistakes happen, BUT if everyone is ‘belted up’ and you are travelling at a safe speed for all the conditions, then the outcomes WILL be better for yourself and your passengers.’

‘Families don’t have to suffer the emotional and physical pain that serious crashes bring. ‘Ninety three deaths could have been prevented in 2016 on NZ roads, by simply wearing a seatbelt. These are avoidable tragedies. It takes a few seconds to put on your belt, doesn’t cost anything, and saves lives. Why wouldn’t you wear one?’

As far as the safety of our ‘littlies’ in vehicles go, Pauling says ‘positive modelling’ reinforces safety with children. ‘Kids will copy adult behaviour for sure. Be the role model by ensuring you and they are properly restrained. Inform them it is for every ones safety, and it’s the law’.

Always wear your seatbelt

Road Safety Week 2017 in Wairarapa will take place 7-14 May, and will coincide with the

4th Global Safety Week focusing on speed, and locally also on seatbelts.

Find out more, visit us at:

 Finally, Pauling says, ‘As locals, we all travel the same roads…do the right thing and reduce your speeds, and do the easy thing and wear your seatbelts’.

Belt UpBelt Up

‘Belt up Wairarapa wide’   -   Everybody-every trip-every time 

“Safety belts save lives-there can be no argument”, says Bruce Pauling, Manager of Wairarapa Road Safety Council.

As part of national Road Safety Week 16 – 22 May, the council is highlighting the absolute necessity of everyone travelling on our Wairarapa roads being restrained in the appropriate manner.

‘Everybody, every trip, every time! There are no excuses for drivers or their passengers to be in a vehicle unrestrained.” Mr Pauling, who saw the tragic results of crashes time and again over 30 years of road Policing, still cannot get his head around people risking personal injury, by ignoring the quickest and easiest safety action they can take, after hopping into their cars.

“People make mistakes and crashes happen, but we know that by simply wearing a safety belt, your chance of death or serious injury reduces by over 40%, no matter where you are seated in the vehicle.

Occupants sustain horrendous injuries from impacting the inside of their vehicles with crash forces more than 20 times their weight. It doesn’t have to happen.”

2015 saw 92 deaths associated with non-restraint use in NZ. This is a tragic ‘spike’ from the previous 5 years and preventable Pauling says:

“The national front seat restraint compliance rate is around 98%, but appears to be much lower in Wairarapa after recent local surveys. Of more concern are children not properly restrained in restraints appropriate to their age and size.”

A 2013 law change means all children up to 7 yrs have to be in an approved child restraint. 

“Drivers are responsible for ensuring all passengers under 15 yrs are restrained in a seatbelt or approved child restraint. The little ones are entitled to be safe and not become missiles in the event of a crash which can happen even at low speeds.”

The Road Safety Council invited Police and Wellington Free Ambulance to reinforce the safety belt messages.

Nigel Watson, Wairarapa paramedic and field operations Manager stated “A lot of injuries from crashes we attend are preventable….a simple mistake can change a life forever. We want you to see your family every night.  Please drive carefully and ALWAYS wear your safety belts.”

Acting Sergeant of Wairarapa Road Policing Shayne Nolan stated “ It’s more about having  fewer crash victims from no restraints being worn, than more tickets. However, we will be issuing notices for $150 per restraint breach whenever we stop a vehicle.”

For further information on child restraints contact Wairarapa Road Safety Council -and remember:

‘Belt up-Wairarapa wide……...everbody-every trip-every time’.

Road Safety wants us to 'drive legal'Road Safety wants us to 'drive legal'

The "Drive Legal Wairarapa Wide" campaign focuses on keeping the region's cars up to safety standards. FILE PHOTO(WTA).
The Wairarapa Road Safety Council is working with police to encourage motorists in the region to "drive legal".
The "Drive Legal Wairarapa Wide" campaign focuses on keeping the region's cars up to safety standards.

Road Safety Council manager Bruce Pauling said many Wairarapa drivers were putting themselves and others at risk by driving non-legal vehicles and breaching their driver licence conditions.

The former police officer, with 30 years' enforcement experience, said statistics for tickets issued across Wairarapa for 2014 were "worrying". Some 2094 tickets were issued for vehicles that had faults, no warrant of fitness or were not up to WOF standard. More than 1900 tickets had been issued to either unlicensed drivers or to drivers breaching graduated licence conditions.

"As these statistics show, far too many local drivers are flaunting these safety laws," Mr Pauling said.
"Unknown to them, their cars could be unsafe and, by not following licence conditions or being totally unlicensed, they have not proved they have the necessary skills to keep themselves and others safe on Wairarapa roads."
He said driver knowledge and skill base was also what the "drive legal" campaign was about.
"The importance of acquiring the appropriate driving skills via the graduated driver licence system can often be forgotten," Mr Pauling said.
"As drivers move through the system, they are tested to ensure they have acquired the right skills to earn the right to drive on our roads.

"Licence conditions and restrictions, such as a supervisor, not carrying passengers and a curfew, are placed around the novice driver to ensure they graduate to become a competent, safe and responsible road user." As of last year, five-year time limits were applied to learner and restricted licence holders. This means if a driver has not progressed to the next licence stage within five years then they will become unlicensed and risk large fines and demerit points. They will be required to start the whole process over.

Mr Pauling said although keeping a car up to a safe standard could be expensive, it was important to do so. "It is essential that the car you are driving and transporting your whanau and friends in has been checked by a qualified mechanic and is seen to be compliant and safe." He said it was a good idea for people to regularly carry out five-minute checks to ensure their vehicle still met warrant of fitness standard.

People looking to buy a new or used vehicle should look at the available safety features and ratings and decide on the safest car for their budget. Car safety ratings were based on over 7.5 million vehicles in police-reported crashes in New Zealand and Australia from 1987 to 2013. The Australia New Car Assessment Programme (Ancap) star-rated system was based on the results of thousands of laboratory controlled crashes. Mr Pauling said people should base their consumer choice on safety first, followed by other features such as brand and colour of vehicle.

"You could be surprised that the car you have in mind with the flash rims and stereo will not perform that safely or provide enough occupant protection in a serious crash." Drivers needed to look after each other on the roads.

-The government website has safety information on most new and used vehicles.

Anyone with a learner licence who does not have anyone to act as a driving supervisor, or has no access to a legal car to practice, or needs more advice, can contact Bruce Pauling on 06 929 7425 or go to

Buckle up With Mitre 10

On Sunday 7th May the Wairarapa Road Safety Council teamed up with Mitre 10 Mega Masterton (am) & Martinborough (pm) to raise awareness around speed & seatbelts. People (big and small) tried out the ‘seatbelt demonstrator’, and put themselves in the draw to win an automotive prize pack or voucher from each store, and one of two child restraints or booster seats from the Road Safety Council.

Chocolates, information & giveaways were there for the kids to take away. A huge thank you to Both Mitre 10 Mega Masterton & Mitre 10 Martinborough for your partnership with us in promoting good road safety habits such as - ALWAYS WEAR YOUR SEATBELT!

Some videos of the big kids trying out the seatbelt demonstrator - for more check out our Youtube channel


Road Safety Week 2017

Wairarapa Manager Bruce Pauling took to the streets across the Wairarapa Region to share road safety messages with the community and get feedback from our road users. The main theme for Road Safety Week Nationally was Speed and Restraints.

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