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Korea enacts law to prevent kids from being left alone aboard school buses

South Korea has enacted a law aimed at requiring operators of daycare centers and kindergartens to install devices that prevent children from dying or suffering injuries after being left alone aboard school buses, the Korea Police Agency said Monday.

Under the revised Road and Traffic Law, the driver of a school bus is required to walk to the back of the vehicle to check whether all passengers have disembarked. 


Sleeping Child Check sign (Yonhap)
Sleeping Child Check sign (Yonhap)

The "sleeping child check" system requires the driver to press a button, installed at the back of a bus, to confirm whether there are any children left within three minutes after stopping its engine or removing the engine key.

If the driver fails to do so, an alarm goes off.

The enactment of the revised law, which will be promulgated on Tuesday, follows the death in July of a four-year-old girl who was left for eight hours in a hot daycare center bus in Dongducheon, north of Seoul.

A three-year-old boy has also been in a coma since he was confined inside a school bus for seven hours in July 2016 in the southwestern city of Gwangju.

Fines of up to 200,000 won (around $176) will be imposed on those who do not conform to the measure.

The education and welfare ministries plan to provide budgetary support to promote the installation of the devices on school buses within this year.

The requirement to install the devices will be enforced from April 17 next year. (Yonhap)
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