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August 29, 2012

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Home » Metro » Public Services

City reveals accident death toll

THE Shanghai government said yesterday that 559 people had died in 1,394 road accidents in the city so far this year.

Traffic authorities said the death toll was declining but the number of accidents and injuries were increasing.

The total number of accidents was about 5 percent up compared with the same period last year, officials said, and the number of injured stood at 1,339, almost 10 percent up year on year.

The figures were revealed at a press conference called in response to a spate of deadly accidents over the weekend, including the sleeper bus accident in Shaanxi Province.

Traffic officials and police said that following the sleeper bus accident, they were determined to stop long-distance bus services between 2am and 5am.

About 450 buses will be affected, officials said.

"It's the bottom line for the operators to keep the passengers safe," said Zhang Yongbin, head of the Shanghai Long-Distance Bus Station.

Zhang said station staff would be urging bus operators to check safety facilities and GPS systems before each journey.

City authorities also plan to phase out sleeper buses similar to the one involved in the Shaanxi accident over the next five years. The buses are expected to be replaced by seated ones, said officials.

The station, Shanghai's main hub for inter-province traffic, services about 80 routes using such buses, some 200 vehicles, said Zhang.

Around the country there are more than 30,000 sleeper buses in operation.

The routes are mainly operated by out-of-town owners, Zhang said. The longest journey, from Shanghai to Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, takes more than 20 hours.

The city is also trying to remove bus drivers and operators with bad records, officials said.

More bus drivers, changes to routes and schedule adjustments will all be under consideration to ensure that drivers get sufficient rest before setting out with passengers on lengthy journeys.


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