Boy, 11, dragged by school bus
A North Shore boy was dragged along the ground by a school bus after he got his bag caught in its back doors.
Other families have also reported bus related accidents including one where a boy got his head stuck in the doors.
Alec McGregor, 11, was swiping his bus card and getting off the bus at the Torbay shops when his bag got caught in the doors late last month.
The bus was empty so no-one could tell the driver to stop as it started to drive away, Alec said.
"I was sort of scared," he said, as was his twin Luke who witnessed the incident.
"My friends were like 'woah'," he said, as they watched him twist out of his bag straps and leap onto the pavement as the bus drove off.
Alec was shaken but not injured.
An investigation later found a sensor on the door wasn't working.
A friend followed the bus by scooter to the next stop on another street to collect the bag.
Alec's mother Paula McGregor was shocked and said it brought back bad memories of the death of North Shore schoolboy Matthew Taylor.
Taylor, 12, was killed in May 2000 after being dragged by his bag which also got caught in the back doors of a school bus.
McGregor remembers the tragedy well and is angry similar incidents are still happening.
She complained to North Star bus company and has since received an apology, was told drivers would be reminded of their responsibilities and was reassured incidents like this won't happen again.
But an apology was not good enough, she said.
"I don't want to see this left up to the driver."
She said North Star told her newer buses have sensors but older buses are used on school routes.
McGregor said newer buses should be used for schoolchildren and has told her sons to always use the front door from now on.
Ensuring children's safety should be a priority for bus companies, she said.
NZ Bus spokesman Rajeev Jadoo said an investigation had found a sensor on the bus Alec was using was broken.
It has since been repaired.
''All NZ Bus buses are fitted with sensors on the rear doors so they open in emergency situations and prevent trapping of objects or people.
''The driver in this case was extremely apologetic and understands that his actions could have resulted in a more serious accident,'' he said.
All students on school buses must exit from the front door unless it is the last stop on the route, Jadoo said.
The driver involved will attend a safe driving course next month.
The incident will be reviewed by NZ Bus' health and safety committee.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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