Recommendations follow last month’s toddler van death

Toddler Gabriel Josh-Cazir Pierre was found dead in the back of a School Van in September.

Transportation services for young children need to be improved with required parental notifications, passenger logs and vehicle monitoring devices, according to a special panel.

The recommendations by a specially formed transportation committee were made Tuesday to the state Board of Early Education and Care.

Board Chairman J.D. Chesloff created the panel after the death Gabriel Josh-Cazir Pierre, the Dorchester toddler who was left unattended in a van for hours last month and died.

The committee identified five areas that should be addressed by the agency. It recommended that regulations change to hold providers responsible while a child is transported to and from child care programs and that providers be familiar with transportation laws.

It also suggested that: Providers immediately notify parents when a child does not arrive at a facility within 30 minutes of the scheduled time; drivers or monitors carry passenger logs; transportation performance standards be developed; and vehicle monitoring devices or adult monitors be required on vans designed for six or more children.

The Cazir Pierre family’s attorney, Ernst Guerrier, said the recommendations were “a good start,” but that more was needed.

“I think what we need is a true enforcement arm for making sure those regulations are followed,” he said. “We have laws in the books now that address some of these situations, but who is enforcing them?”


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