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Four school bus standards released for comments

BEIJING – Four compulsory national standards on school bus safety were released by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) on December 27 to seek public comments.

The four standards – School Bus Safety Technical Requirements, School Bus Seating System and Fixed Facility Strength, Child School Bus Safety Technical Requirements and Child School Bus Seating System and Fixed Facility Strength – were drafted based on U.S. federal and State as well as European school bus regulations. China’s own road conditions were also considered.

The four standards stipulated specific requirements on bus structure, appearance and markings, and passenger capacity, such as front and rear safety bumpers and rollover tests.

Key requirements include:
•    School bus should adopt a “two-box” structure (long-nose cabin) with at least half the engine length in front of the front windshield
•    Minimum ground clearance of 700 mm and maximum speed of 60 km/h
•    School bus must pass rollover test meeting minimum stable rolling angle of 32 degrees on both sides (to meet special road conditions in rural and mountainous areas)
•    School bus must have special features to guarantee the safety of the bus driver and make sure structurally the bus is convenient for rescuers to enter in case of emergency
•    All or at least the bottom half of the window should be sealed off to prevent school children from sticking their hands or head out.

Requirements on engine, exhaust, electrical, interior systems and fire extinguishing devices were also specified.

The School Bus Safety Technical Requirements applies to school buses that are used for kindergarten children three years and up as well as students attending nine-year compulsory education.

Prior to the release of these requirements and standards, the School Bus Safety Rules (draft for solicitation) was issued in early December after a series of severe school bus accidents.

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