Garda Inspector James Hallinan voiced concern that a number of children identified without seatbelts were under the age of three.
He warned the overall recorded figure is set to rise as tickets are processed and emphasised the urgent need for a cultural shift in relation to traffic offences.
Drivers can face up to four penalty points and a fine of €800 if convicted in court for failing to wear a seatbelt. This also applies to drivers who fail to ensure passengers under the age of 17 are restrained.
“There are tickets that still have to go through the system so that figure is set to rise,” Insp Hallinan said. “Most likely, there are multiple people outside of that number who are getting away with this. Gardaí have seen it all.
“However, continuing to see children jumping around in the back without seatbelts at this stage is mind-boggling. Parents need to realise that, in the event of a crash, this is going to result in a lot more injuries.”