Is China too poor to be able to provide better school buses than this overloaded motor tricycle packed with 31 (THIRTY ONE) rural schoolchildren?
A reporter was driving a car along the Zhengkai Road in Guandu town, Zhongmou county, when a motor tricycle coming into his sight that were crammed with tens of schoolchildren.
And he was even surprised and worried to see that a small girl approximately of the age of 10 was holding the steering wheel as if the tricycle was driven by her!
The journalist turned around his car and followed the tricycle, which stopped at a village. The reporter noticed a middle-aged woman got down from the tricycle and got to know the small girl was sitting on the fuel tank of the three-wheel bike in front of the real driver, who had to tilt her head to see the road ahead when driving the bike.
“Do you think it is dangerous to overload so many children in one single motor tricycle?” asked the reporter.
“Yes, I know it, but the school has no school bus and we have no other way of bringing the schoolchildren to and from the school”, said the woman.
The middle aged woman told the reporter that parents started to take turns to get the schoolchildren to and back from the school with such kind of vehicles.
Anyway, it was safer than letting the schoolchildren go to school on their own along the busy Zhengkai road, said the woman.
The woman confirmed there were 31 schoolchildren on the tricycle and the girl that sat on the fuel tank was her own daughter.
School bus tragedies
China is not lack of school bus tragedies because many of the school buses are of very poor quality, if some of them can be regarded as a school bus like the 31-schoolchildren-packed tricycle.
A school bus crashed into a roadside ditch and killed at least 15 in Jiangsu province in December 2011.
At least 17 preschoolers died in overloaded minibus accident in December 2011 in Gansu province.
Although many of Chinese school buses are of low quality, and some schools have no school buses at all, it is actually not because Chinese government is poor, since they are rich enough to donate high quality school buses to European country Macedonia.