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School bus information collected in China

Xinhua

BEIJING - As part of China's efforts to form a school bus information system this year, the country's central authorities have ordered the collection of school bus information nationwide.

In a joint circular posted online Sunday, the ministries of education, public security and transport demanded that details on school buses, drivers, onboard caretakers and service providers be provided.

Targeting all in-operation school buses, the move is intended to keep government agencies updated on relevant information in order to improve school bus safety management work.

A slew of details will be collected, including a school bus' maximum carrying capacity, the period of validity of its permit, the number of pupils it serves, whether the bus carries a satellite positioning system and whether the bus operation is subsidized by public funds.

School bus accidents have led to tragedies in some regions, with overloading often to blame.

In November 2011, 21 pupils died when their nine-seat minivan carrying 62 preschool students onboard crashed in the northwestern province of Gansu.

In December 2012, 11 kindergarten students aged four to six died when their overloaded school bus plunged into a pond in east China's Jiangxi province.