School buses to get safety alarms

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School buses to get safety alarms

Korea has enacted a law to require operators of day care centers and kindergartens to install devices that prevent children from dying or suffering injuries if they are left alone aboard school buses, the Korea Police Agency said Monday.

Under the revised Road and Traffic Law, the driver of a school bus is required to walk to the back of the vehicle to check whether all passengers have disembarked.

The “sleeping child check” system requires the driver to press a button installed at the back of a bus to confirm that there are no children left on board. The driver must do so within three minutes of stopping its engine or removing the engine key; otherwise, an alarm sounds.

The revised law, which will be promulgated on Tuesday, follows the death in July of a four-year-old girl who was left for eight hours in a hot day care center bus in Dongducheon, north of Seoul.

Also, a three-year-old boy has been in a coma since he was confined inside a school bus for seven hours in July 2016 in the southwestern city of Gwangju.

Fines of up to 200,000 won ($176) will be imposed on those who do not conform to the measure.

The Education and Welfare Ministries plan to provide budgetary support within this year to promote the installation of the devices on school buses. The requirement to install the devices will be enforced from April 17 next year.

Yonhap

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