Japan to Mandate Equipping Kindergarten Buses with Safety Devices

Politics

Tokyo, Sept. 29 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government decided Thursday to mandate the installation of safety devices on kindergarten and nursery buses to prevent children from being left behind inside them.

The decision was made in response to the death of a 3-year-old girl due to heatstroke after she was left behind in a bus of a certified "kodomoen" kindergarten-nursery hybrid in Makinohara, Shizuoka Prefecture, central Japan, earlier this month.

Some 16,000 child facilities including kindergartens, nursery schools and kodomoen facilities will be obliged to install safety devices on all of the school buses they operate.

Safety devices to be installed are expected to include a sensor to detect any child left behind and a button at the rear end of a bus that sounds an alarm when not pressed and prompts staff to check inside the vehicle.

The government will draw up guidelines by the end of this year at the earliest to set specifications of the safety devices and compile emergency measures by the end of October to ensure the safety of children on such school buses.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press