Five unrestrained children discovered hidden in the footwells of a Ford Falcon during a roadside breath-test stop in Pine Creek has resulted in charges for a 35-year-old female driver who allegedly told police she had driven from Alice Springs with the unrestrained children.
NT Police Superintendent Kirk Pennuto said there were four adults in the car along with the unrestrained children who were aged between four and 10 years old. The adults allegedly attempted to hide the children from police by covering them with blankets.
There attempts were thwarted however, when police uncovered four of the children in the front and rear passenger footwells under the adult passengers’ legs.
A fifth child in the rear seat was also found unrestrained.
Police did not say if there were any other reasons for concealing the children.
“Police transferred the group to Pine Creek where arrangements were made for family to collect them and retrieve the vehicle,” Supt Pennuto said.
The driver will appear in court on March 17 and will face one count of driving unlicensed and five counts of driving with unrestrained children.
“This could have had a very serious or even tragic outcome,” Supt Pennuto said. “An overcrowded vehicle, children not restrained, long distances and open highways during a monsoon – it’s a recipe for disaster.
“Motorists must take more responsibility and use the roads in a safe manner,” he said.