"As parents, our children must be kept safe. Why aren't all Aylesbury taxis using child locks when transporting our kids to school?"

An Aylesbury mother has opened up about her horror as her disabled son opened a taxi on his way home from school.

Monday, 14th October 2019, 12:52 pm

Her son Ethan is only six years old and is severely autistic.

He has just started his education at a specialist school, where he gets a taxi to and from everyday.

She says she "is still sick" at the thought he could have fallen out, all because the driver didn't put on the child safety lock.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Jill and Ethan Taylor

The incident happened on the September 19.

Jill Taylor said: "As parents, we use the child lock to keep our children safe.

"What gives taxis the right to not bother using this device?

"Can my disabled and vulnerable son who has no sense of danger, just open the door again at speed and hope that he doesn't fall out?"

Young Ethan

Jill was so concerned by what happened that she has started a government petition requiring all school transport to use child locks.

You can view and sign this petition here.Jill said: "I have started a Government petition to change the laws regarding child locks.

"It's disgusting to think that public transport who we trust with our children, are able to carry our disabled and vulnerable children without them being locked in for their own safety.

"What if Ethan had have fallen out of the taxi when he opened the door? I keep replaying it in my mind with the worst case scenario and it's just awful.

"Would it have been his fault? A severely disabled boy, just six years old?

"I am calling on the people of Aylesbury to support this petition. It needs 100,000 to be debated in the House of Commons, and 10,000 to be recognised by the Government.

"Surely the law must be changed.

"As far as I am concerned, our children are in danger and I want to prevent a serious accident if not death, following Ethan's incidents with a local taxi firm.

"I truly hope an awful event doesn't happen before the law is changed.

"Our children deserve to stay safe at all times. Especially when they rely on others to help keep them safe."

Response from BCC:

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 who visit various pick-up and drop-off points along a route to ensure the supplier is complying to contract conditions.

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