Taxi trying to fine autistic child,should I have to pay?

Tracey - posted on 08/23/2011 ( 8 moms have responded )




Last term my 12 year old son (low functioning autistic with GDD, mental age 3) was allegedly sick in taxi on way home from school. Taxi left him by side of road with useless escort who let him wander off.
Driver turned up on doorstep, tried to take my car to get my son, took me in his suspiciously clean car back to my son (giving verbal abuse all the way) and claimed he had cleaned the car with wipes.
On arrival driver could not find my son and escort as he had been allowed to wander 500m away, found him slumped against wall covered in sick, and lots of sick in road.
As soon as I got to my son the driver and escort disappeared leaving me to walk a very sick, very distressed child 1.2 miles home which took nearly an hour.
Taxi company now want #50 to pay for cleaning.
Have had repeated phone calls, and driver turned up on doorstep last week demanding money, disability team social worker tried to help, Council bloody useless, Police wont get involved, and today social worker advised us to pay up before things get nasty. Don't see why I should pay for non existant cleaning but don't want men coming to the house for money.
My daughter (14 - also special needs) is now so scared of people knocking on the door that she runs upstairs to get away.
Thoughts / advice please.


Julie - posted on 08/23/2011




Hi Tracey. My husband is a taxi driver and has a school run where he takes two special needs children to and from school each day. One child (downs syndrome) has regular problems with wetting himself and has soiled himself a few times too during the trip. My husband cleans his car himself as he also uses it for general public taxi service so it needs to be in tip top condition. He has never asked the parents to pay for the clean up. If the mess was caused by someone drunk on a night out then he would charge them no problem and the going fee is £50. but it is not the childs fault and it is horrible for you to feel pressured because of something unavoidable. I would take the matter up with the council as the taxi driver will have needed to obtain his licence from them. They are pretty hot on any complaints and it should be sorted out very quickly. The Taxi driver will not want to loose the contract so you have the upper hand. If they contact you again ask for the drivers taxi number so you can quote it to the council. also the escort would legally have to have been on a training course to escort your son and get a laminated licence card (worn at all times), that maybe another thing to check into. if you need any other taxi advice let me know and i'll ask my husband for you. good luck xxx

Krista - posted on 08/23/2011




I'm with Amanda. It's a piss-off, but it's better to pay them and get them off your back, and THEN deal with the situation, rather than having them stress out your entire family.

Whatever you do, however, do NOT pay them cash. Keep a paper trail a mile long.

Amanda - posted on 08/23/2011




Though I fully believe in not paying money for "cons" or BS, but in this case if this is causing such stress for your children I would pay the cab company directly. So the matter can be let go, and your daughter can no longer be scared when someone comes to the door.

And then I would call the school board and complain about this driver. First for leaving your child on the side of the road, second for leaving you and your child to walk home. The school board pays for this cab company to drive your child HOME. I would also tell them about the harassment for the 50 dollars for cleaning, as the school board should be responsible for that.


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Constance - posted on 08/23/2011




I typially would say things like this happen they can go somewhere else with wanting money. He was so far in the wrong for leaving your son on the side of the road. As I said though typically I would ignore their demands but being they are scaring your daughter so bad I would just pay them. Only because it is effecting your daughter so much. I'm sorry you are dealing with this.

Tracey - posted on 08/23/2011




Taxi is employed by education authority, I do not pay anything towards it.
Had they bought my son home and the car was covered in sick I would have cleaned it myself, but it didn't even smell of sick,and as mums we all know that kid sick smells.

Becky - posted on 08/23/2011




I would have filed a complaint about the taxi leaving my special needs child on the side of the road before they even had a chance to charge me! If he'd brought him home, sure, I'd pay - one good deed deserves another. But he acted like an irresponsible ass, so I'd probably do everything in my power not to pay him.

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