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November 29, 2011

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Packed car pools cited as big risk to children

CAR pools involving parents putting their children into overloaded private cars or mopeds to transport them to school are common but pose serious danger to children, say Shanghai traffic police.

During a crackdown yesterday against overloaded school buses, traffic police caught several parents driving mopeds carrying up to three children. The police also caught parents driving private cars packed with children.

Police said they have found that car-pooling services are becoming more and more popular among parents in the city's suburban areas where schools don't provide school buses, but they warned that children are being put at risk if the vehicles are too full.

Shao Wenchong, director of a private elementary school in Baoshan District, said the school has repeatedly warned parents not to put their children into crammed vehicles for car pooling, but the warnings have gone unheeded because the school is not equipped with buses.

"Usually one parent will drive but he will take over five children of other families in his car," said Shao. "It's very common that the cars are overloaded with children."

Shanghai traffic police promised to tighten scrutiny and severely punish those driving overloaded cars.


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