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Chinese buses to be fitted with GPS to avoid accidents

China: The Chinese government is planning to introduce GPS devices in long-distance buses and vehicles. Hou Jinglei, division chief of the road traffic safety department of the State Administration of Work Safety, said the move is to regulate the use of GPS devices on long-distance vehicles and reduce road accidents.

The administration plans to make all long-distance buses and vehicles transporting dangerous goods install GPS systems by the end of the year. The GPS terminals will have a communication function and will be connected to monitoring platforms.

However, Hou said the lack of legal punishment is a major problem authorities are facing in supervising the use of GPS devices. “If drivers turn off the GPS terminal while driving or choose another route without permission, there is no law to punish them,” he said.

The administration is now drafting a regulation on the GPS monitoring systems to specify the penalties for those drivers who are not driving on the prescribed routes, switch off the GPS terminals, or commit other violations, Hou said.

“Severe punishments will be issued in these circumstances, such as the cancelation of the company”s operating permit,” he said, adding that the regulation will be established by the end of the year.

He also said China is developing its own version of the GPS called Beidou (Compass) Navigation Satellite System. “Hopefully in the future it will take the place of GPS used in these vehicles,” Hou said.

Beidou”s technology is not highly developed, and can only be used in conjunction with a GPS, he said. Its precision and reliability need to be improved and more satellites need to be launched.

Source: China Daily