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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Safe rides to school need more govt funds


10:50, November 25, 2011

BEIJING - In 2007, Liu Zihua, a political adviser in Beijing, had proposed paying greater attention to the safety standards of school buses. But the municipal advisory body did not pay much heed to it, focusing instead on what it considered to be more urgent topics.

If Liu were to raise the proposal again, it would probably attract intense attention, particularly after a school bus accident that claimed the lives of 19 kindergarten students in Gansu province on Nov 16.

The accident was caused by overloading, as 64 kids were crammed into the nine-seater van that crashed into a truck.

Five days after the fatal accident, Beijing traffic police intercepted an 11-seater van carrying 20 children to school.

The Beijing Municipal Education Commission admitted on Tuesday that many school buses in the capital were overloaded.

In the country's southernmost Hainan province, overloading of school buses is common. More than 80 percent of the vehicles allegedly did not meet the national standards for school buses, local school bus inspectors said on Wednesday.

Shortly after the disastrous road accident in Gansu, the Ministry of Education launched a program of overhauling school buses across the nation.

However, applying stringent rules does not necessarily ensure safe and good school bus services.

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