A series of police operations in Palmerston North yesterday saw 47 infringement notices issue in four hours.

Thirty-seven of those were for failing to wear a seatbelt.

Inspector Ross Grantham said police were running a number of operations across Manawatu targeting distracted drivers and people not using restraints.

"We're taking a zero-tolerance approach," he said.

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"It doesn't matter if you're in town or out on the open road – put your phone away and make it click so everyone can reach their destination safely."

Last year 377 people died in crashes in New Zealand.

Police said a third of drivers and passengers who died on New Zealand roads weren't wearing their seatbelts.