Taipei (Taiwan News)—Liu Yun-chu (劉韻珠), a member of the road safety committee at the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) compiled a simple five-point tour bus safety checklist at a press conference to promote travel safety awareness week on Tuesday.
A string of tragic tour bus accidents in recent years awakened Taiwan's public to the risks associated with one-day bus tours, and the public can use Liu's simple checklist to ensure a safer trip on tour buses:
- Keep seat belts fastened at all times.
- Check if there are two functioning fire extinguishers on the bus.
- Every bus should be equipped with three hammers for breaking emergency exit windows.
- In case of an emergency, break the four corners of the exit window. Check beforehand if the emergency exit window is made with reinforced glass, as laminated glass will be the most difficult to destroy.
- Check whether emergency exits of the tour bus are still functioning.
In the aftermath of one of Taiwan's worst tour bus accidents in decades that claimed 33 lives on Feb. 12, 2017, the MOTC rolled out a series of new safety measures including capping drivers' maximum work hours to 10 hours per day.
The measures were introduced in hopes of lowering driver fatigue, which was believed to be a major factor in the tragic bus accident last month, as the driver had worked 16-hours straight.
The Directorate General of Highways (DGH), an agency of MOTC announced last month it will be recalling 5,157 old tour buses for safety inspections from March 1-31, 2017 to improve tour bus safety.