Japan to compile stricter rules on school bus safety after child's death


The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.


©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

Japan to compile stricter rules on school bus safety after child's death

Nearly 6 percent or 15 out of 267 drivers and other staff involved in school bus operations said they have experienced leaving children behind in the past year, according to a survey conducted in May by Sanyo Trading Co, which sells sensors that can detect children in vehicles.

Strict rules? Sensors? All you need just checking each seats whether any passenger left or not.

Regular commercial bus driver always do this, station staffs also do this when train won't be used on that day anymore during late at night. That's how they avoid people trapped in train overnight.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

It's very disheartening that they have to introduce legislation for something that should be common sense. There was another case a few years ago of a mentally handicapped teenage boy who was left on a bus and died. It's one thing to leave a kid on a bus due to carelessness but there are thousands of parents who habitually and purposely leave their kids in cars while they go shopping or play pachinko. Where is the legislation to stop this irresponsibilty?

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Too late...another child passed away because of the same situation last year.

Senile elderly run their kindergarten should close their business asap.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

So easy to be critical if you have never done that job and know how those kids can tire you out. I paid for my undergraduate degree driving big yellow buses for a major big city school district. Four years of that and I never, ever, wanted to have kids. And then there were their surly parents. There were days that by the end of the shift I was so tired and frustrated from dealing with out people's monsters and their equally miserable parents I was practically squeezing gray juice from that big steering wheel.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Ya think?? geez could these bureaucrats get any slower in Japan??? Uniform policy of role calls for on and off the bus every pick up and drop off should be not only mandatory but common sense! No parent should be told your child died because i couldn't be bothered to check if they got off the bus or not!

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I can save them the millions they are going to waste on their research into stricter rules. I have devised a simple yet cunning plan. Step one I call "counting", where the driver or helper count the children getting on the bus and then off the bus. If these numbers do not match, this could indicate a problem. Step two I call "checking". This is where the driver walks to the back of the bus and checks that no children are left on the bus.

Maybe they should try to find out why such simple steps were not being taken in the first place.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

In both cases, the driver and other staff failed to notice that the children were left behind by forgetting to check the seats and not confirming their presence at the day care centers.

not surprised at all.

a long time ago, I worked with one woman. She was in charge of the kids on the bus and I would make sure the kids got into the front door of the school.

the woman was pretty careless, and didn’t make sure all of the kids were off. I’m sure this happened more than once.

but One day she didn’t check the back seat, as one of the smallest girls was still sleeping in the back. I could see her, because there were huge windows on the bus. The woman didn’t see her, because she didn’t go back and check or keep a head count.

she got off, telling the driver to go. And the driver NEVER looked back, he just started to go, assuming the bus was clear.

i started jumping and yelling at them to stop the bus, saying there’s a child still in there (no seatbelts and she was still sleeping.)

i ended up pounding the windows to make the driver stop. I took the girl off the bus myself.

the woman in question, ended up getting pissed and angry AT ME! She claimed I was being “rude” for yelling at her and trying to “micromanage” her. I wasn’t her boss.

all this, Despite her being at fault .

all I could do was SMH and walk away from the individual.

for whatever reason, she went on a rant to the bosses and “she quit” that night. Blaming me for the cause. Clearly trying to pass the Buck on me.

thankfully my work agreed with me, and she was gone, never to be heard from again.

long story, but in the end, I can see how some of these people don’t do their jobs properly and end up neglecting some of these kids. Thankfully not more get injured because of such disregard.

i have zero sympathy for such pathetic people. They should definitely be jailed and named for such heinous crimes. Parents put the lives off their children in these people’s hands.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Day care centers must apply a "sleeping child check" system, where the driver is required to walk to the back of the vehicle to check whether all passengers have gotten off.

Simple common sense should've told you to do so! You shouldn't need a system to tell you that! My bus driver in JR high school would count everyone getting on the bus, mark it on a form he drew up himseld and count everyone when they get off the cheese bus! My brother, myself and one other girl were always the last to get off the bus.. He would always say ".....aaaannnddd 33! That's all 33 kids!" get up, walk to the back of the bus while pointing at every empty seat and counting, THEN and ONLY THEN he would leave.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This should be titled "The Common Sense Guidelines."

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I doubt it was a one time thing where they forgot. Thdh

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Common sense dictates head counts should be done. Schools do this, why wouldn't a day care also do this?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

From my limited experiences with my 2 kids at kindergarten - traffic safety awareness with vehicles differed from my idea.

The number of times kids were bundled into taxis and/or private cars way over the legal limit - with no child seats - to go to parks etc was troubling.

The usual justifications were "it's only 5 minutes or it's only a couple of kms or organising a bus is expensive."

Just luck nothing tragic ever happened.

Total lack of awareness and common sense.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Let me guess, the day-cares will get a printed rule book with guidelines and a checklist from the city ward office. Once they have completed the checklist after ever school drop off, they will have to hanko and fax the results back to the city ward office to which someone will need to check every result and write them in a nippou (daily report) which will be sent to someone higher up to receive a hanko and now someone else will then input the data on a computer and store the original copy in a binder. The data results will then be e-mailed to a special team created specifically for this task with every person CC'd in the loop.

Trying to make a simple solution as inefficient as possible is the J-gov way.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The usual justifications were "it's only 5 minutes or it's only a couple of kms or organising a bus is expensive."

That's horrible. Studies show that most accidents happen in short trips.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

dont need "campaigns" at all just use your natural human common sense-thats all.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Two deaths in two years says something needs to be done.

Maybe a paper checklist is enough, or maybe they should use technologies like sensors (which will increase costs and won't be 100% fail free). I don't know the best strategy. But something beyond urging people to do better needs to be done. Children's lives mean the stakes are extremely high.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Every child can have an air tag so the teacher knows their location.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

On the TV news, I noticed that the windows of the van had been painted over! Seems really obvious to me, but if you can't see inside the vehicle, that's pretty dangerous if you're checking for the presence of kids. But I'm not aware of the media mentioning this.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Every child can have an air tag so the teacher knows their location.

As a parent I would never permit a school to put that on my child. Never.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

On the TV news, I noticed that the windows of the van had been painted over! 

Are you sure it wasn't a vinyl applique? Those look like paint on the windows but you can see right through them. A lot transit buses and private shuttle buses have these on their windows.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So infuriating reading this kind of news ..was gonna get on here with a big rant but you guys have said it all....agree with pretty much every comment above.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

ultimately drivers are responsible for what happens inside and outside a vehicle. I told my mother, who drove a yellow school bus in the United States back in the day about this issue here in Japan and she couldn't believe it. She told me whenever a bus driver would step away from the bus for a break or at the end of shift they would walk back through the bus, touch the rear door, get down on a knee to check under all the seats for anything that may have been left behind before exiting the bus. It's unconscionable for incidents like these to happen when there is a driver AND a staff to oversee the children.

Seems that civil and criminal penalties are too lax here in Japan. Maybe the only way to solve this is to have stiffer jail time for drivers and staff as well as huge monetary penalties paid to victim's families from the companies running these centers. It unfortunate that only monetary penalties and/or jail time is what motives people to change their ways

1 ( +2 / -1 )

No need to reinvent the wheel. They're called headcounts. One headcount when kids get on the bus, another when everyone is on the bus, final one when kids get off the bus, followed by a final sweep of the vehicle. Repeat for every trip. It's not that hard and doesn't take that much time. But yeah, let's create another useless committee to investigate.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Those look like paint on the windows but you can see right through them. 

You can see out of those windows but not looking in from the outside. So if spotting stranded kids is critical, then obscuring them behind one-way glass is staggeringly stupid.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Compiling" more rules won't be any help. They had the rules in place, but the school chairman took over suddenly and didn't follow them. He was more worried about his doctors appointment. Even after that, the child was still marked as "present" in the roll call system so the teacher should have realized the discrepancy and contacted her parents, but once again the rules were not followed. Most likely the teacher was a young woman working to the death like they have in most of these schools...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites