Win for child safety

In “a win for child safety” a loophole that allowed taxis to transport young children not properly restrained is set to be closed.

On Tuesday the State Government supported a recommendation of the Taxi Industry Inquiry to remove the exemption for Victorian taxis from the mandatory use of child restraints.

Father Sean Scanlon has been campaigning on this issue for more than three years and said it was “good news” to hear that Victorian children would now be safe in taxis.

“It’s just been something that has been slipping through the system,” Mr Scanlon said.

“To me, it’s just been used as an advantage for lazy parents and taxi drivers more hungry for the dollar then looking at the repercussions of a potential accident.”

While it has been mandatory for taxis to have the capability to attach child restraints in their cabs, taxis were not forced to ensure children travelled in proper child seats.

Mr Scanlon said as a father and State Emergency Service worker the exemption had frustrated him, and was afraid of one day pulling a child from a crashed taxi who had no opportunity to be protected.

“The children are winners… at least they’ve got an opportunity for protection,” he said.

The Taxi Industry Inquiry’s recommendation on this issue was supported, but was subject to an assessment of regulatory impact and with the Taxi Services Commission to develop appropriate standards requiring taxi operators to allow prebooking of child restraints.

Transport Minister Terry Mulder did not respond to requests from The Express for clarification on that qualification by time of print.