This is the third national survey of restraint use in New Zealand by children aged 5–9 years old. The survey was carried out in October 2015.

Children in more than 7,100 cars were observed at 112 sites throughout New Zealand. Sites were surveyed during school holidays. To determine national wearing rates, the rates for local authorities were weighted to adjust for the proportion of the national population aged 5-9 years in each local authority.

In 2015, 95 percent of children aged 5–9 years were either in a child seat, booster seat, child harness, or restrained by an adult seatbelt. This is a slight decrease from the rate of 96 percent observed in 2013. 1.

Twenty-six percent of the children in the survey were restrained in child restraints of various types, an increase from 20 percent in 2013. Of these, 20 percent were in booster seats, 4 percent were in child seats and 2 percent were in child harnesses. Sixty-nine percent were restrained by adult safety belts. The remaining 5 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 aged 5-9 years (%)

Table 1: Restraint type used by children aged 5-9 years (%)
Child seat 5 2 4
Booster seat 17 17 20
Child harness 1 1 2
Adult safety belt used 72 74 69
Unrestrained 5 4 5
Total 100 100 100

Download the results of the survey of child restraint use by 5-9 year olds. [XLSX, 54 KB]

1 Changes from the previous survey are only commented on if they are found to be statistically significant at the 5 percent level.

2 Rounded figures given; actual percentages add to 100 percent.