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School bus safety (2)


10:30, December 27, 2012

According to media reports, the van was speeding when the accident occurred and the driver was the head of Chunlei kindergarten, which is unlicensed and has been shut down more than once by the local government. The police have detained the driver and investigations into the cause of the accident are under way. A 480,000-yuan ($77,000) compensation deal has been struck between the local government and every victim's family.

However, compensation alone is not enough. Aside from the punishments that should be meted out to those who have played a role in the accident, competent departments should reflect thoroughly on the factors underlying the frequent occurrence of school bus accidents.

That Peng Chun'e, the head of the unlicensed kindergarten, reportedly drove the poorly equipped vehicle herself reveals a stunning lack of awareness among some kindergarten operators of the country's explicit standards on kindergartens and school buses. It also shows that local governments have made insufficient efforts to monitor the implementation of the relevant State stipulations, a kind of dereliction of duty.

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