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People's Daily Online>>China Politics

China adopts school bus safety regulation

(Xinhua)

08:47, March 30, 2012

BEIJING, March 29 (Xinhua) -- The State Council, China's cabinet, has approved a draft of regulations on school bus safety management, according to a statement issued Thursday.

The statement, released after a State Council meeting presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao on Wednesday, said that relevant authorities began drafting the regulation last November based on domestic and overseas experience and opinions solicited from the public.

The draft regulation asks local governments to ensure that students attend nearby schools or boarding schools so as to "reduce students' traffic risks."

For rural areas that cannot ensure nearby schooling or convenient public transport to schools, measures should be taken to ensure students' access to school buses.

Local governments above the county level are responsible for school bus safety management in their jurisdiction and central departments are obliged to "guide and supervise" school bus safety, the draft says.

"Security staff should accompany students in school buses," it says.

The regulation specifies stricter requirements for the technical conditions of school buses and bus drivers' qualifications. It also imposes limitations on school buses' maximum speed and load.

It also grants traffic priority to school buses.

Those who illegally use school buses, offer illicit school bus services or violate security management rules will be punished according to law, says the regulation, which will undergo further revision before being published.

Wang Jingbo, a professor at the China University of Political Science and Law, described the document a significant move for children in rural areas, who often lack access to safe and convenient commuting services due to poverty and insufficient government funding.

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