A motorist’s poor excuse for driving with 10 unrestrained passengers, including a newborn baby and eight other children, has shocked police.
On Saturday morning, NSW Police Traffic and Highway Patrol Command stopped a vehicle on Shepherd Street Colyton near Penrith.
Despite the van being designed to transport eight people, 11 passengers were found seated inside, with only the driver wearing a seatbelt.
A passenger, 34, was found in the front seat unrestrained.
In the middle row, a child, five, was unrestrained in a booster seat, which was also not anchored to the vehicle.
A unrestrained 11 year old was seen nursing a one month old baby, while a 12 year old held a toddler in her arms.
Officers also saw a seven year old sitting in the footwell.
In the back row, police discovered a four year old unrestrained in a booster seat, a six year old not wearing a seatbelt and a three year old unrestrained in a seat not anchored to the vehicle.
When questioned by police, the driver told officers “we were running late for church”.
Police posted an image of the vehicle’s passengers with their faces obscured on Facebook.
Not surprisingly, most social media users said the excuse was “ridiculous”.
“So getting to church is more important than the lives of 11 people?” one person responded.
“Pretty sure their church wouldn't have been much use had they been involved in a high speed head on collision, or any collision for that matter. The lack of common sense hurts my brain,” another user wrote.
“I hope the driver loses their licence and cops a massive fine. That is ridiculous and so dangerous!” a person commented.
Police urged drivers to ensure all passengers are restrained prior to travelling and not to exceed seating capacity of vehicles.
The driver, a 45-year-old St Clair man, will face Penrith Local Court on Thursday charged with 10 offences including driving with unrestrained passengers.
Police also stated that a child at risk notification has been made.
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