Lawmaker Calls for School Buses to Meet Safety Standards
2011-03-13Editor:Sarah Wang 
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All schools should be equipped with school buses that meet unified national standards to ensure students' safety, a Chinese lawmaker said Friday.

There are three main reasons why school buses are prone to road accidents: their condition is often poor, many of their drivers have poor driving skills and they are often overloaded, said Jiang Zhuangde, a deputy to the National People's Congress.

"Most vehicles that transport students to school are mini-vans which usually do not have bumpers. In some cases, even rickshaws are used to transport children, posing a severe threat to their safety," Jiang said.

On Dec. 27 last year, 14 children died and six others were injured when a three-wheeled vehicle taking them to a primary school plunged into a creek in Songjiang Township of central China's Hunan Province.

In addition, Jiang said school buses are often overloaded. It was not unusual to hear of a van with a designed capacity of eight people being packed with 20 children, he added.

Relevant regulations should be developed to regulate school buses. Government subsidies should also be available, he said.

"If conditions permit, traffic lanes should be designated for school buses," Jiang said.

(Source: Xinhua)

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