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Surveillance system planned for buses

Shanghai is planning to install video cameras on buses and set up a real-time surveillance system to improve safety.


The system, which will cover all city buses and taxis, will be able to transmit video in real time, locate vehicles and contact drivers in the case of emergencies.


New buses must be equipped with such cameras before they are put into operation, according to the city's transport authority.


"The move is also to deal with the mounting challenges facing public transport during the World Expo," the Shanghai Transport and Port Authority said in a written reply to the city's lawmakers.


At least 27 people were killed and another 76 were injured in a bus blaze in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, on Friday.


In Shanghai, a No. 842 bus caught fire in the city's Yangpu District last May, killing three people and injuring 12 others.


Ten deputies to the Shanghai People's Congress put a proposal to the legislator in January, calling for a stricter surveillance system to safeguard the large number of commuters during the World Expo next year.


Since last August Shanghai has installed video cameras on 1,750 buses, 9.7 percent of the city's fleet.


But the lack of a backup monitoring platform has hindered police in collecting evidence about accidents, the Shanghai Public Security Bureau said.


The transport authority said it is talking to the quality watchdog and police to set up detailed technological standards to complete a city-level monitoring platform.


"The established system could enhance our capabilities to stop terrorist attacks and other crimes," the bureau said.


Bus drivers and bus attendants, Metro staff and other transport officials have been asked to increase their efforts to stop passengers carrying on to public transport prohibited goods including gasoline, diesel and coal fuels, liquidized gas, painting oils, fireworks, aerosol cosmetics and all other flammable items.


(Shanghai Daily June 8, 2009)