A police search for a five-year-old girl who was trapped on a bus for five hours after falling asleep has sparked a debate over how old a child should be before they’re allowed to ride public transport alone.
Alyssa Jayde New is thought to have fallen asleep at the back of a Queensland bus on Monday, prompting her mother Bobbie Langdon to call the police when she didn’t get off at her usual stop. She had just attended her first day back at Jimboomba State School, in south Brisbane.
She was eventually found hours later locked inside the bus at the Logan Coaches bus depot. A furious Langdon has now threatened the bus company with legal action, claiming the bus should have been checked thoroughly before being left there, The Courier Mail reports. She claims her daughter was “petrified and crying, banging on the school bus doors to get out”.
Langdon has since pulled her daughter out of the school, the site reports, and has asked for donations from the public to take her daughter to Dreamworld following the awful experience. However, this has sparked anger from many – who claim five years old is too young to allow a child to ride the bus alone.
While Langdon blames the bus company and the school, others blame her for allowing her child on the bus alone. There is pressure to find out who’s to be held responsible, but should there always be someone to blame?
Langdon later shared her relief on Facebook at her daughter being found, but has since lashed out at people who claim Alyssa was too young to be riding alone, telling 7 News: “She loves the bus.”
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has urged bus companies to ensure a final sweep of their buses is done before drivers clock off. She added: “It’s a timely reminder for the bus companies to ensure that that is done.”
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