Beijing releases rules on bus drivers

Updated: 2007-08-29 15:47

Beijing's bus drivers and conductors will be forced to mind their manners and watch their drinking -- before and after work -- under two new regulations to spruce up the city's bus services before the 2008 Olympic Games.

The Municipal Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision issued the Standards on Bus and Trolley Bus Stations and the Standards on the Operation and Safety Management of Buses and Trolley Buses to ensure an orderly public transport system.

Under the new rules, drivers are forbidden to drink alcohol within eight hours before work, and are banned from "excessive" drinking at any time.

Conductors are instructed to maintain order in their buses, resolve disputes among passengers, assist the driver in safe maneuvering, and are forbidden to chat with the driver on the job.

The regulations require routine safety checks before buses go into operation.

Drivers in Beijing are prohibited from driving with a blood alcohol content of at least 100 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood. It is estimated that three bottles of beer could put the average person over the limit.

Under national law, motorists caught drink-driving are to be immediately arrested by the police and face fines of up to 2,000 yuan(264.2 dollars).

The new regulations require one professional security supervisor for every 25 to 75 vehicles to ensure safe driving and to advise drivers.

In China, fatigue driving, overloading, speeding, and drink-driving are the major causes of traffic accidents. Last year, 89,455 people were killed on China's roads, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

Sources from the municipal traffic management bureau said 440 people were killed in road accidents in Beijing up to May 25 this year.

The new regulations also demand drivers should be familiar with the locations of junctions on their routes and that they maintain a safe speed in rainy, windy, smoggy or snowy conditions.

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