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Bruce Morcombe's message to bus fare rorters

Bruce Morcombe's message to bus fare rorters.
Bruce Morcombe's message to bus fare rorters. Warren Lynam

BRUCE Morcombe has a message to children rorting the "no child left behind" policy created after his son Daniel went missing at a bus stop.

"The no child left behind policy was not designed as a freebie for kids," Mr Morcombe said.

The Daniel Morcombe Foundation received "two or three calls a week" from concerned parents who felt the public transport service and "not connected or left their child behind".

Data obtained by the Sunday Mail showed TransLink received almost 1000 complaints across the southeast since the 2014 financial year about failure to pick up child passengers.

Mr Morcombe told the Daily though he was aware there was another side to the story.

"We are aware it not always the bus company's fault," he said.

"Sometimes some students at high schools play the system. They say 'I've lost my money', but there's the 'no child left behind policy.

"That's fine, if you do it maybe once a term because you couldn't afford it that week. But those who do it day after day are playing the system."

The figures obtained by the Sunday Mail under Freedom of Information showed there were 315 grievances recorded in the year to June 2016, 351 in the year to June 2015 and 321 in the year to June 2014.

TransLink said it was able to substantiate only 28 cases relating to a driver failing to pick up or drop off a child in the 2016 financial year.

"Safety is our number one priority and every incident reported involving a child is treated seriously and investigated thoroughly," a spokesman said.

Mr Morcombe said the policy was "designed to keep kids protected" after Daniel was left behind while waiting for a bus and was then abducted and murdered in 2003.

"We just think the policy is great and should continue," Mr Morcombe said.

"But it is not designed to make it free for a child to get the get bus indefinitely."

Mr Morcombe did not want the policy changed though.

"We definitely want the no child left behind policy implemented and used properly," he said.

"It is an honesty system, people abuse things all the time. It is more a reflection on them personally.

"Honestly is the best policy. The rorters need to be made aware to please not do it anymore."

Topics:  bruce morcombe bus daniel morcombe foundation editors picks translink


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