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Bus without thieves is a mere driver's prompt

By Ni Yinbin (Shanghai Daily)

08:32, October 29, 2012

LOCAL public transport bus drivers have their own way of warning passengers about thieves on board their vehicles and don't need to emulate the method used by drivers in other provinces, which has come into prominence lately, city officials said yesterday.

The assurance came after a recent microblog by a netizen, who claimed to be a bus driver in southeast China's Fujian Province, went viral on the Internet. In the post the blogger revealed how a driver can warn passengers when he sees a thief on the bus by using repeated voice message prompts.

"Exclusive! I'm a bus driver and I'm writing this to tell you guys if the bus kept playing 'please take care of your valuables' more than three times, don't get confused. There must be thief on board," said the microblog updated at the weekend, which was later echoed and reposted by other bus drivers.

An official of the Shanghai Bus Group said such a practice may not suit the city and in any case its drivers have their own way to prevent thefts.

"The drivers would ask people to move inside the bus instead of crowding on the front door," said He Fang, a media coordinator of the group.

"Usually suspects take advantage of the crowd at the front door to steal. We don't want to give them the chance."

The use of the voice-prompt reminder was also conceded by another Fujian driver surnamed Chen, who reposted the above-mentioned blog. "Voice prompting has been a 'hidden rule' of the industry. However, it has not been much recognized by passengers."

In Shanghai, besides the voice prompts, bus drivers also apply sudden brakes to alert passengers and warn suspects. "If necessary, they even drive the bus directly to the police station," He told Shanghai Daily yesterday.

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