China will launch national safety inspections on school buses as traffic accidents are frequent in the winter, the Ministry of Education said Thursday.
The inspections will also target hidden safety risks in vans, roads and routes, as well as preventive and emergency plans for school bus safety incidents, according to the ministry.
The ministry also urged tougher punishments for violations, such as speeding, exceeding passenger capacity and illegal school buses.
School bus safety is a perennial public concern in China.
In late September, two young children were killed and 11 others injured after a school bus carrying a kindergarten class collided with a truck at an intersection in central China's Henan province. A local government statement said there were no traffic lights at the intersection.
In January, inspections jointly organized by the education and public security authorities disqualified 13,000 substandard school buses from service, and removed 32,000 unlicensed school bus drivers from their jobs.