A Gold Coast MP has raised concerns that kids are still being allowed to use ride sharing services unaccompanied, three years after safety fears were raised.
Surfers Paradise MP John-Paul Langbroek admits he can understand how time poor parents turn to ride share apps to get their kids to and from school, but that they’re continuing to put their child’s safety at risk.
Mr Langbroek initially raised safety concerns back in 2016, when ride share services started becoming popular.
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Today he says he’s saddened to hear that parents put their child’s safety at risk in this way.
“There are rules there for a reason
“Parents have to take some responsibility here about making their own arrangements to get their child to school, even though they may be time poor.
“No one wants to regret that they put their children in a car with a driver where something happened to the child subsequently.
“Especially when the rule was that the underage rider shouldn’t have been in the car in the first place,” Mr Langbroek said.
Uber’s guidelines specifically require drivers turn down unaccompanied kids who look under the age of 18-year-old, though some local drivers have admitted to Newscorp that they don’t often follow those guidelines.
“Their OWN rules say they’re not supposed to take riders who are under 18 but they seem to be doing it,” Mr Langbroek said.
“It’s a bit different when you’ve got other arrangements that are being made… where there are other apps with people with blue cards who are being carefully vetted.
“But that’s not according to the Uber rules and that’s something that I’m very concerned about and I think other parents would be as well.
Mr Langbroek says parents are falling into a false sense of security, if they’re choosing to put their children in cars with strangers, rather than on public transport like buses or trams.
“It shows how things have changed since I was at school or my kids are at school, when we actually put them on the bus and in my case I used to catch the train.
“I do understand parents concerns about public transport but at some stage our kids have to to get out into the world and we need to make sure that we’re not exposing them to something that’s potentially dangerous,” Mr Langbroek said.