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Regulation to 'reduce traffic risks' prompted by series of lethal crashes
A long-awaited draft regulation on school bus safety management was passed in principle on Wednesday at a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao, according to a statement released on Thursday.
The draft regulation asks local governments to ensure that students attend schools near their homes or boarding schools to "reduce students' traffic risks".
In rural areas that cannot ensure nearby schooling or convenient public transport to schools, measures should be taken to ensure students' access to school buses.
The draft states that county level and higher governments will be responsible for the management of school bus safety within their jurisdiction. It also sets obligations and responsibilities of the schools and service providers to guarantee safety.
According to the draft, higher technical standards will be set for school buses and stricter requirements for the drivers. School buses will have the right of way on the road and a speed limit will be set for them. People involved in unlawful school bus services or uses will be held legally and possibly criminally responsible.
The State Council will publicize the draft regulation for implementation after further revision, the statement said.
School buses made by Zhengzhou Yutong Group, Henan province, await delivery earlier this month. Zhu Xiang / Xinhua