Guide­line aims to im­prove safety of bus driv­ers

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By LUO WANGSHU lu­owang­[email protected]­nadaily.com.cn

China re­leased a guide­line on Tues­day to strengthen the safety of bus driv­ers and bridges, fol­low­ing a fa­tal plunge of a bus into the Yangtze River in Oc­to­ber in Chongqing.

The guide­line was re­leased by the work safety com­mit­tee of the State Coun­cil, China’s Cab­i­net, on the web­site of the Min­istry of Emer­gency Man­age­ment.

The guide­line re­quires all buses to phys­i­cally iso­late driv­ers from pas­sen­gers with bar­ri­ers to en­sure that driv­ers won’t be in­ter­fered with, though emer­gency staff would still be able to ac­cess a driver’s pro­tected zone.

Thir­teen peo­ple died in Oc­to­ber, with two still miss­ing and pre­sumed dead, when a bus driver lost con­trol af­ter be­ing at­tacked by a pas­sen­ger.

Based on the black-box record­ing de­vice and other ev­i­dence, a fe­male pas­sen­ger sur­named Liu missed her stop and de­manded that the driver, sur­named Ran, stop im­me­di­ately. When the driver re­fused, Liu hit him on the head with her cell­phone, and a scuf­fle en­sued. Ran lost con­trol of the bus, which smashed through a bridge’s guardrail and plunged into the river with an es­ti­mated 15 pas­sen­gers on board in Wanzhou, Chongqing.

The case shocked the coun­try and brought at­ten­tion to bus safety.

Ac­cord­ing to the guide­line, the Supreme Peo­ple’s Court and the Supreme Peo­ple’s Procu­ra­torate will re­lease de­tailed rules and cases defin­ing crim­i­nal be­hav­ior that in­ter­feres with safe driv­ing.

Safety per­son­nel will be hired for ma­jor bus routes to im­prove se­cu­rity and main­tain or­der on board. The guide­line also re­quires safety im­prove­ments for bridges.

The in­ci­dent in Chongqing was not an iso­lated case.

In 2015, in Long­nan, Gansu prov­ince, a driver was at­tacked by a pas­sen­ger and lost con­trol of the ve­hi­cle, which ran up on a side­walk. One pedes­trian was killed and two others were in­jured.

Since 2013, the Judg­ments On­line web­site of the Supreme Peo­ple’s Court has recorded more than 67 crim­i­nal cases in which pas­sen­gers were ac­cused of en­dan­ger­ing pub­lic safety by at­tack­ing bus driv­ers. Most of the de­fen­dants were sent to prison for more than three years. All the in­ci­dents in­volved fight­ing be­tween pas­sen­gers and driv­ers and led to crashes.

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