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People's Daily Online>>China Society

School bus safety rules set standards (3)

By Chen Jia (China Daily)

08:56, December 12, 2011

"The draft has followed educational experts' suggestions to stipulate strict quality standards for school bus drivers, including their ages, driving experience, safety records and health," Yuan Guilin, an education professor at Beijing Normal University who studies rural education and school bus safety, said on Sunday.

According to the draft, drivers should be less than 60 years old and have clean driving records for more than three years, he said.

Since most urban students attend schools near their homes, the government will give more financial support and larger tax breaks to expand rural services, the State Council Legislative Affairs Office said in a statement.

Many observers have said that schools do not have the money to use standard school buses. In response to such observations, the draft said that central and local governments would help pay for those costs and encourage donations as well.

"It is reasonable to (draw on donations) in light of the limited government budget for school bus services," said Yang Dongping, a professor at the Beijing Institute of Technology, who has studied educational development in China.

Some parents have said that allowing a three-year transition period for schools to follow the new rules is too long.

"It tolerates school buses unqualified under the new regulation over the coming three years, which might endanger my child's safety," a 28-year-old mother surnamed Cui said on Sunday.

The draft regulation is at www.chinalaw.gov.cn. Feedback via online posts, letters and e-mail will be accepted until Jan 11.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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