Minister of Education Tu Cheng-sheng (
The announcement comes in the wake of a deadly bus accident in Tainan County on Sunday. The horrific crash took place when a bus carrying a school group from Kaohsiung tumbled into a ravine. In addition to the deaths, 24 were injured. Investigators have yet to determine the cause of the accident.
"All of us at the ministry [of education] were shaken up by the tragedy," Tu said in the legislature's Education and Culture committee.
The ministry mobilized psychology professors soon after the incident to offer counseling services to survivors and some of the victims' classmates, he added.
"We also created a hyperlink on our Web site immediately after the accident, that points users to a traffic advisory on the Ministry of Transportation and Communications' Web site identifying dangerous roads," Tu added.
The bus inspection, meanwhile, will most likely be concluded in two weeks, Tu said.
In related news, opposition parties criticized the Ministry of Transportation and Communications for proposing to buy used tour buses in an effort to get them off the roads.
They also demanded that Minister Tsai Duei (
"You idiot," Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chi Kuo-tung (
"Buyback is not the point. The problem lies in the local vehicle registration departments that maintain close ties with local bus service operators," Chi said.
KMT Legislator Wang Yu-ting (王昱婷) added that some operators would likely strip equipment from buses in order to pass inspections, and then reinstall the equipment.
She suggested that the ministry increase the number of inspectors in local vehicle registration departments.
Vice Minister Oliver Yu (
The idea was mooted in the legislature's Transportation Committee yesterday, when legislators questioned Yu over Directorate General of Highways head James Chen's (陳晉源) proposal.
Yin Cheng-peng (
Yu said his department had finalized a number of issues for discussion tomorrow.
For example, it suggested that the ministry forbid companies from using tour buses that have been in operation for more than 12 years. Yu's department also suggested that buses that have been in operation for more than 10 years be inspected more frequently.
Other plans include limiting the height of large vehicles to less than 3.5m and a complete ban on the use of retreaded tires.
UNDER INVESTIGATION: Huang’s body was found just outside the bathroom and showed no signs of a struggle, and no alcohol or drugs were found Singer and actor Alien Huang (黃鴻升) was found dead at his home in Taipei’s Beitou District (北投) yesterday. He was 36. Huang was also known by the nickname Xiao Gui (“little ghost”). His body was found when his father went to check on him after being unable to reach him by telephone, and called emergency services to the house at 11am, the Taipei City Police Department said. Huang’s body, which was discovered just outside the bathroom, showed no signs of a physical struggle, and he appeared to have been dead for some time, police said, adding that no drugs or alcohol were
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