Opinion / Zhu Ping

Bus fires expose design faults

By Zhu Ping ( Updated: 2014-07-17 10:29

It’s an urgent task for the related authorities to get rid of the design faults as exposed in the series of bus fires.

After the fires, evacuation guidelines became popular, teaching people how to open the door and break the window with hammers, which calls for training and skills. However, the training, even if it is introduced in future, is far from enough to save passengers.

Just like in the case with the Guangzhou bus fire yesterday, the fire engulfed the whole bus in just five minutes. For any passengers it will not be an easy task to break the window in minutes, not to mention when they are in a panic. There were about 40 passengers on aboard when bus was on fire last night, and “several were not able to get off”.

In the long run, the authorities must improve designs to raise safety standards. All the windows should be open with a single button rather than continuous hitting. The interior materials should pass flame tests to slow a fire once it happens.

It is impractical for local governments to invest such a huge fund to overhaul all the buses over night. However, they need to introduce buses with news designs, step by step. As the economy slows, the investment in public transit safety can be included in the mini-stimulus, which can not only boost local economic growth but also improve public safety.

In the short term, the buses can be urgently equipped with automatic fire suppression systems or alarms, at least to minimize the losses once fires erupt. Simple safety check facilities can be set up at the bus doors, if it’s affordable in some relatively developed regions.

The series of bus fires have already alarmed people about public transit safety. The authorities should act now to protect people’s lives.

Previous Page 1 2 Next Page

Most Viewed Today's Top News