The Seoul metropolitan government said Monday it will introduce a new safety rule this month to prevent children from dying or suffering injuries after being left alone aboard school buses.
The "sleeping child check" system, to be mounted on 53 buses of the city's public elementary schools, forces the driver of a school bus to walk to the back of the vehicle to check whether all passengers have disembarked.
Under the system, which utilizes a near field communication technology, the driver tags his or her smartphone to three NFC-enabled terminals installed on the far rear seat, interior and exterior of the bus after checking the bus for any remaining passengers. The information is also delivered to the passengers' parents and an administrator at the school.
If the driver fails to do the tagging, an alarm goes off on the smartphones of the driver and the parents and the administrator.
The city government plans to expand the system to 58 public elementary schools next year and allocate a budget of 4.09 billion won (around $3.67 million) for the operation of the safety system.
The introduction of the safety system comes after many people signed an online petition on the website of the presidential office to require all school buses to use the system following the death in July of a four-year-old girl who was left on a hot daycare center bus in Dongducheon, north of Seoul. (Yonhap)