Who’s Driving Your Kids To School? Asks Road Safety Expert GEM Motoring Assist
AS THE NEW school year begins, GEM Motoring Assist is urging parents to find out more about the drivers and vehicles taking their children to and from school. There are too many occasions, the road safety organisation says, where school transport drivers and vehicles fall far short of the high standards parents should expect.
“That’s why we are urging any parents whose children use coaches, minibuses and private hire taxis, to ensure that head teachers ask for regular inspections of driving licences, permits, CRB checks and any other appropriate documents,” said David Williams MBE, Chief Executive of GEM Motoring Assist.
He continued: “If you have children with special needs, for whom a longer journey to a more suitable school is a requirement, then you would reasonably expect to trust that the drivers appointed to make those journeys for you would pass any safety and document checks with flying colours. But you only have to look at the results of one police check at one location on one day during the last school year, to appreciate the likely extent of the problem
Mr Williams suggests that parents with any concerns should ask the following questions to head teachers:
- What documents exist to tell you and me that my child’s driver (and escort) are trained and cleared to work with children?
- When were appropriate safety checks last carried out on the vehicle used to transport my child?
- When did you last check the CRB certificate of the driver (and the escort)?
- When was the driver’s licence and insurance last checked?
“Our experience has shown that reputable transport operators are happy to cooperate, largely because they are keen to show they have nothing to hide, and would like to see any rogue operators put out of business,” he said.
“It is worrying that some drivers with the responsibility for transporting children appear willing to compromise safety, either by their own actions or by failing to check the roadworthiness of their vehicles. We urge all parents whose children use school transport to push for more frequent checks of the drivers and vehicles they use, so that the risks the children face are reduced to a minimum.”