Shocking footage has emerged of a woman driving through busy Auckland traffic with a toddler unrestrained on her lap.

The video, posted to social media, shows the woman driving along Clark St in New Lynn, before coming to a stop at the intersection with Portage Rd.

In the expletive-laden clip, the man filming in the passenger seat calls out to the woman, "Oi! What are you doing? Driving with a baby in her lap."

The woman responds by pulling the finger at the camera, and ignoring their colourful pleas to safely restrain the child.

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Waitematā Rd Policing Manager Acting Inspector Michael Rickards said police were aware of the video which had been circulating on social media for a few days.

"Sadly, this video is a prime example of poor decision-making behind the wheel.

"Nearly a third of people who die on New Zealand roads are not wearing seat belts. It's a really simple message – restraints save lives.

"Being properly restrained is important for all occupants of a vehicle, including children. Even in a low speed impact it can cause a great deal of harm to an unrestrained child."

Police were making follow-up inquiries with the vehicle's registered owner.

Under New Zealand law, all children under seven years of age must use an approved child restraint appropriate for their age and size.

Children aged seven must be secured in a restraint if one is available in the vehicle.

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Anyone who witnessed motorists driving dangerously could contact police on *555.

If the manner of driving is posing a risk to other motorists they should call 111.