China is a powerful country but it has many problems. School bus safety is one of them. Last month, 19 kindergarten students were killed in a school bus crash in Gansu province. On Monday, at least 15 children died when a bus drove into a ditch in Jiangsu.
School bus accidents are the result of a lack of legislation. In Gansu, for example, the nine-seater bus was packed with 62 children.
Many mainlanders are not aware of road rules, while drivers do not care about the safety of their passengers and other road users. There should be tough penalties against overloading and other serious offences.
Parents and teachers should also keep an eye out for overloaded school buses, and report such cases to police.
Now, the central government has proposed new regulations to crack down on irresponsible school bus drivers. But will the new rules work? As long as there is corruption, many people say things won't change much. I certainly hope they are wrong.
Janice Lo Yee-yung, Pooi To Middle School
From the Editor
Thank you for your letter, Janice. Bus accidents involving children are true tragedies - they mean the deaths of people whose lives had only just begun, and who had no control over what happened.
Sadly, traffic accidents happen. But it seems almost unbelievable that it has taken two serious accidents in a short space of time for the central government to draft laws ensuring the safety of school buses.
Where children are concerned, safety should be of the utmost concern. They are innocent, and the actions of adults should only protect them, not endanger their lives.
I'm not a big fan of saying 'the government should ...' - we all have to take responsibility to a certain extent. But where innocent lives could be protected by a relatively simple change to the law, I definitely believe 'the government should' do something about it. And quickly.
Karly, Deputy Editor