As reported by News.com.au, a mother is suing the bus company, which allegedly left her 5-year-old child at the wrong stop after school, for the equivalent of $9million.
The mother panicked when her child did not arrive at the scheduled stop. The mother’s immediate calls to the school and bus company were reportedly unanswered, so she called US emergency services on ‘911’ and ran to search the neighbourhood herself.
The mother finally found her child at a busy intersection more than 10 blocks away from where she was supposed to have been set down by the bus. A store owner had offered the distressed child food and called the police, but the mother had arrived to find her child before police officers could respond. Explanations by the bus company, as reported in the media, gave no clear understanding as to how a child as young as five could have been left in an unfamiliar or unintended location without the parent’s knowledge or consent.
“This kind of situation would not have developed if the school had been using RollCall,” said Dean Langenberg, one of the Australian founders of the RollCall system for monitoring children on school buses.
“Firstly, with RollCall, it would have been clear to the driver where the child was supposed to alight from the bus. The driver would have received an alert as soon as the bus had overshot the mark, and the bus company would be alerted as well. The school would have received an alert, and the parent could have received an alert,” Mr Langenberg said. “Errors may happen for whatever reason but with RollCall everyone has full visibility of the situation and real-time tracking, so a child can never effectively vanish from everyone’s situational awareness.”
“The duty-of-care for parents and caregivers, schools, and bus companies is extended and maintained throughout each child’s bus journey with RollCall. It’s simply the modern way to keep children safe during school-related bus transport.”