AA record 150 emergency calls for tamariki and pets locked in cars

By Te Rina Kowhai

AA is calling for parents and animal owners to not leave children and pets in the car. This comes after the latest AA report with more than 150 emergency jobs involving children or pets locked inside vehicles in just over a month.

AA Roadservice National Manager John Healy told Te Kāea, “The 35,000 lock outs we had last year which a proportion of those are emergency jobs. It’s something where people around the holiday time don't look after their keys to the car. If they just did that simple thing and put their keys in their pockets, give it to someone outside the car or put it in a bag.”

According to AA's Roadservice callout statistics, last year 768 children and 647 animals were locked in their vehicles.

Chante Botica bravely spoke to Te Kāea about how easy it was for her to accidently lock her child in the car.

“Couple of years ago when she was under two-years-old I put my daughter in the car seat and as you do to free up a hand I threw the car keys to the front, put my daughter in, put her in the car seat, secured her, walked around and the door had shut. The car automatically locked itself.”

Despite the recent statistics, Healy says we still need to improve.

 “While it's improved a bit, it's not coming down fast, we've been saying this message for 2-3 years now constantly and it's still happening.”

So moral of the story is to not leave your child or pet in the vehicle by themselves. And if they are in and around the vehicle make sure you have your keys on you.