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Safety check for bus drivers following fatal accidents

(Xinhua)

17:07, April 17, 2012

BEIJING, April 17 (Xinhua) -- China's Ministry of Public Security has ordered local vehicle management departments to run a thorough safety check on passenger buses and their drivers following two fatal road accidents this month.

In one case on April 7, a bus plunged into a ditch beside a state highway in northeastern Liaoning Province, killing 14 people on board.

The other accident, on April 12, resulted in 24 fatalities after a head-on collision between a bus and a sand-hauling truck in central Anhui.

"Both accidents resulted from drivers' misconduct, exposing loopholes in the management of privately-owned large vehicles as well as the lack of safety facilities on some roads," said a statement released Tuesday by the ministry, citing investigation results.

The statement urged local vehicle management offices to carefully evaluate the records of medium- and large-size passenger buses, adding that owners should check and repair vehicles in poor condition.

Meanwhile, drivers with previous road-related misdemeanors on their records must receive face-to-face safety education and those with serious violations should be stripped of their licenses and made to re-take the driving test if they want to get behind the wheel again.

Traffic accidents on China's roads result in about 70,000 fatalities and 300,000 injuries each year, according to the Ministry of Public Security. Speeding, fatigue, drunk-driving and poor road conditions are usually blamed.

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