Nearly 40 people, including eight children, were caught without seatbelts on South Auckland roads during a police operation yesterday.

Counties Manukau police said the one-day blitz was part of Operation Fatal Five, a monthly crackdown on traffic offences.

In total, 38 people were found without appropriate restraints, police said.

"It's disappointing to see that in only a few hours and in a few locations across the district we found eight people who did not comply with the rules and put the lives of their children at risk. However it is encouraging to see that this number has lowered from 25 on the operation day in October," the district's road policing manager inspector Neil Fisher said.