We consider vulnerable passengers to be anyone who might require a bit of extra time to transport. Kids traveling in car seats with or without an adult, older frail passengers or people who are either temporarily inhibited by an accident or illness or someone who is using some form of an aid such as a wheelchair or walking stick or assistance dog.
The following 4 pointers are common sense but worth spelling out to reassure drivers and passengers in those “What if…?” moments.
1. Place passengers on the left hand side of the car and let them out onto the footpath. If there’s shade that’s even better. Always ask passengers what form of physical help from you they require if any. People know where and how they like their bodies to be moved.
2.If kids are travelling with their mum or guardian feel free to offer them a treat but if they’re on their own please don’t. We don’t know what allergies children might have or food preferences parents prefer.
3.If at any time you are seriously concerned about a passenger, if someone becomes very faint or confused, call triple zero and ask for an ambulance.
4.If someone who is meant to be meeting an unaccompanied child fails to arrive call the parent/guardian contact number. It’s a condition of riding with us that parents and guardians are contactable by phone while their unaccompanied kids are in transit. Wait for five minutes then try again. If there is still no response remain calm and quietly call triple zero and ask for the police. End the trip once the children are safely with the police. Make a note on the app and call the office for debriefing. You can contact the office to discuss things that concern you regarding the well being of children at any time.
It’s unlikely you will encounter all of these scenarios, but if you do it’s good to have a plan.
P.S. Remember not to pat assistance dogs without permission from their owner – as cute as they may be.