Whanganui police officers will be targeting drivers and passengers who fail to wear or properly wear seatbelts or child restraints in July.

It is part of a long-term road safety operation called Operation Five which aims to reduce road deaths by 5 per cent every year.

In July, police will continue road safety policing as normal, but with a specific focus on restraint use.

"What we have noticed is some drivers and passengers placing the seatbelt under an arm rather than across the shoulder," Sergeant Colin Wright of Whanganui Police said.

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"Apart from wearing the restraint incorrectly, therefore committing the offence as if it wasn't being worn, it is also inherently dangerous and not how the restraint was designed to function."

Being properly restrained reduces the chance of death or serious injury in a crash by 60 per cent in the front seat and 44 per cent in the back seat.

Almost a third of people who die on New Zealand roads are unrestrained vehicle occupants.

Babies and children should be in approved child restraints that are fitted and secured properly.

More information can be found on the New Zealand Transport Agency website or in the official New Zealand road code.