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China adopts School Bus Safety Regulation

04-10-2012 15:07 BJT

China's School Bus Safety Regulation comes into force from Tuesday. The set of rules aims to ensure the safe commuting of students. CCTV's Zhang Nini reports.

The promise of a safe journey.

The regulation asks local governments to ensure students have access to school buses, especially in rural and remote areas.

All primary and middle school students are eligible for the service. High school students, and children from the age of three to six, however, are not encouraged to take the school buses, albeit for different reasons.

Zhao Xiaoguang, Legislative Affairs Office, State Council, said, "One controversy is whether to include high school students into the school bus service. After lengthy discussions, we believe that these students have the ability to protect themselves. They can ride an ordinary bus instead of a specially-made school bus. Whereas children from 3 to 6 are too young to ride by themselves. Therefore, we require this group to go to nearby schools or travel with their parents."

Public opoinions have led to changes. One specific clause requires local governments to consult the parents before restructuring educational resources.

Zhao Xiaoguang said, "Some areas dismantle schools despite parents' objections. This leads to students travelling longer distances to school, and the lack of public transport also increasing the risks on their way to school. The regulation has one such item to better solve the conflict."

School bus of a kindergarten (file photo)

The regulation requires local governments above county level to be responsible for the management of school bus safety in their jurisdiction.

Stricter requirements for the condition of school buses and bus drivers' qualifications have also been specified. It also grants traffic priority to school buses.

Professor Wang Jingbo from the University of Political Science and Law believes the regulation is scientific and practical.

Wang Jingbo said, "For example, the regulation varifies the speed limit according to road conditions. Considering the lack of drivers in rural areas, the regulation allows private contractors to drive school buses, but at the same time impose strict requirements for their qualifications. Generally, I think the regulation will better protect the rights of rural students."

The financial costs for the commuting service is expected to the spread between the central and local governements. The specif

ics are yet to be announced by the Treasury department.

CCTV's Zhang Nini said, "While many call the adoption of the new regulation a significant move to protect children's safety, they also say that it's only the beginning. More clarity is need on the size of the financial subsidies, and how they will be distributed. Addressing the money problem will be crucial to ensure that students really benefit from the policy."


Editor:Liu Fang |Source: CNTV.CN

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