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Mum starts petition after son almost falls out of school taxi

Mum starts petition after son almost falls out of school taxi

Published by the Mix96 News Team at 7:04am 21st October 2019. (Updated at 7:09am 21st October 2019)

A mum from Wing has started a petition after her autistic son almost fell out of his school taxi because there was no child lock on the doors.

Jill Taylor's son, Ethan, was travelling back home from his specialist school.

Ethan was in the taxi, which is commissioned by Buckinghamshire County Council, with a number of other children.

While they were travelling at high speed, Ethan un-clipped his seat belt and opened the car door. 

He was 5-years-old when this happened and is severely autistic.

He also has speech and language delays, he's still in nappies and has no sense of danger. 

Jill told us he relies heavily on other people to keep him safe:

"We were obviously very shocked and very upset at the thought of what could have happened.

"He had un-clipped his seat belt, opened the taxi door, travelling at high speed on the way back to home after school and almost fell out.

"The thought of what could have happened - he could have been really seriously hurt, or killed."

Jill informed the County Council about what happened and found out it is not a law to have child lock on school transport. 

So, she started a government petition to try and get the law changed.

You can sign the petition here.

Jill & Ethan Taylor
Jill and Ethan

Jill has told us there has been some development since she spoke to BCC and they have now changed their policy:

"They have eventually apologised to myself and Bucks County Council have actually updated their policy following this incident.

"They are now making sure that all taxis within Buckinghamshire are going to be using child lock because they don't want an incident like this to ever happen again."

Jill is really pleased that BCC has made this step, which will hopefully stop this from happening to another child. 

But, she wants other council's across the country to follow suit, which is why she is urging people to sign the government petition.

If she gets 100,000 signatures it will then be considered for debate in parliament. 

A Buckinghamshire County Council spokesman said:

"We always strive to provide school transport for students with special educational needs and disabilities that is appropriate to each child's individual needs.

"Safety is of course our paramount priority and where a child's needs change, we change the transport provision to match those needs and ensure safe and appropriate school transport. 

"There is currently no statutory requirement for child locks to be used by taxis while driving. In order to address this we are now requiring all transport providers, as part of all their County Council contracts involving the transportation of vulnerable children and adults, to have child locks installed and use them for every journey.

"If transport providers fail to comply with this condition their contract will be removed and the supplier will be placed on a Notice to Improve.

"The provider's routes will then be monitored by County Council officers to ensure the supplier is complying to contract conditions.

"We have ensured that all our suppliers are informed of these contract conditions and of our contract monitoring arrangements to ensure they are compliant."

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