This annual national survey of child restraint use in New Zealand by children under five years was carried out in October 2009.
Children in more than 5,300 cars were observed at 112 sites throughout New Zealand. As in previous years, sites were surveyed during school hours in the school term in order to target pre-schoolers. Results were weighted to reflect the population under five in each local authority.
The results from 2009 showed that across all sites, 91 percent of children under the age of five years were either in an infant seat, child seat, booster seat, or restrained by a child harness.
Fifty two percent of the children in the survey were appropriately restrained in child seats, 18 percent in booster seats, 20 percent in infant seats and less than half a percent in child harnesses. A further 5 percent were restrained by adult safety belts only. The remaining 4 percent were not restrained, including less than 1 percent who were held on the knee of other passengers (see Table 1).
Table 1: Restraint type used by children under five (%)
|Appropriate restraint used||75||79||82||86||86||87||89||91||91||90||91|
|Adult safety belt used||11||11||9||9||8||8||7||6||7||5||5|
*Rounded figures given; actual percentages add to 100 percent.
Regional Wearing Rates
National surveys are designed to provide a consistent measure of child restraint use over time, by surveying the same sites in each region each year. Table 2 shows the child restraint wearing rates by children under the age of five years in each Local Government region. In 2009 at least 200 children were surveyed in each region, except in Gisborne where 62 were observed and the West Coast where 93 were observed.
Overall, the wearing of child restraints has changed little since 2007. Child restraint wearing in Waikato and Taranaki decreased this year. Wearing rates have increased in Manawatu-Whanganui and Wellington. Wearing rates in all other regions are being maintained.
|Local government region||1999||2000||2001||2002||2003||2004||2005||2006||2007||2008||2009|
|Bay of Plenty||75||79||78||87||78||81||91||89||86||87||84|
Metropolitan Area Wearing Rates
Child restraint wearing rates for selected metropolitan areas are presented in Table 3. The observed wearing rates have increased for Waitakere, Auckland and Wellington and decreased for Hamilton. All other metropolitan areas showed a steady wearing rate.
Table 3: Child restraint wearing rates, by metropolitan area (%)
Local Authority Wearing Rates
At Local Authority level, sample sizes are relatively small and results should be treated with caution. For example, with a sample size of 100 and a wearing rate of 80 percent, the margin of error (based on a 95 percent confidence interval for the wearing rate) is approximately 8 percent.
Child restraint wearing rates at Local Authority level are presented in Table 4. Results are likely to fluctuate where sample sizes are small and caution should be taken, particularly when samples are smaller than 100. No wearing rate has been estimated where fewer than 60 children were sampled. Where appropriate, neighbouring local authority areas have been combined to enable estimation of the child restraint wearing rate.
Table 4: Child restraint wearing rates by Territorial Local Authority, 2009
|Local authority/authorities||Children in sample||% in child restraints|
|Matamata - Piako/South Waikato||176||90|
|Bay of Plenty|
|Western Bay of Plenty||91||60|
|Hastings/Central Hawke's Bay||182||93|
|Upper Hutt/Hutt City||146||95|
|Waimakariri||48||Sample too small|
Police District Wearing Rates
National surveys are designed to provide a consistent measure of child restraint use over time, by surveying the same sites in each Police District each year. Waitemata, Auckland and Wellington increased from 2008. The increase observed for Wellington implies that the 2008 low was a one-off fluctuation, however further observation will be needed to confirm this.
In 2009, at least 350 children were surveyed in each district, except in Northland (where 208 children were surveyed) and in Auckland (314 children).
Table 5: Percentage of children in child restraints, by Police District (%)
|Bay of Plenty||76||77||76||88||78||83||90||90||87||88||85|
Police Area Wearing Rates
Child restraint wearing rates at Police Area level are presented in Table 6. Results are likely to fluctuate where sample sizes are small and caution should be taken, particularly when samples are smaller than 100. No wearing rate has been estimated where fewer than 60 children were sampled. Where appropriate, neighbouring police areas have been combined to enable estimation of the child restraint wearing rate.
Table 6: Child restraint wearing rates by Police area, 2009
|Police Area||Children in sample||% in child restraints|
|Bay of Plenty|
|Western Bay of Plenty||222||79|
|Eastern Bay of Plenty||76||83|
|Palmerston North Rural||143||98|
|Palmerston North City||62||100|