Bus speed limits introduced to improve road safety

Wu Ruofan
Buses in the city are required to follow a speed limit of 50 kilometers per hour, or 30 kilometers per hour at intersections, according to new rules based on accident data.
Wu Ruofan

Buses in the city are required to follow a speed limit of 50 kilometers per hour, according to new rules released by Shanghai Jiushi Bus Group to improve road safety.

Drivers should also slow down to no more than 30 kilometers per hour when passing crossroads. A screen on the bus will raise an alert when the speed is over 15 kilometers per hour.

The new rules came out after statistics, based on big data from road accidents, indicate that buses are more likely to crash into pedestrians at speeds over 30 kilometers per hour.

The Bus Group has also set speed limits for certain areas, including bus stations and road corners, to enhance road safety.

The new implementation has resulted in longer operating cycles for bus routes.

For example, with the new rules, it takes Bus Line 76 about 50 to 60 minutes to get to its terminal station, 10 minutes longer than before.

Most passengers and drivers express their understanding and support.

“Driving a little bit slower won’t affect my schedule much, so I can accept that. We hope buses can run faster, but safety always comes first,” said a passenger surnamed Wang.

“This new rule can definitely lower traffic risks at crossroads, which I think is good. But I don’t mind if they drive a bit faster when the road is clear. The limit shouldn’t be too strict,” said another passenger surnamed Liu.

According to the Bus Group, the new rules are currently in the testing phase and will be renovated with feedback from both passengers and drivers.

“The new speed limit makes the roads safer, especially when we are making turns. It’s less likely to collide with e-bikes or pedestrians at a slower speed,” said a driver surnamed Du.

The new rules can also prevent “racing” among some drivers.

“There used to be a certain ‘competition’ among drivers to reduce the operating time. Now that everybody’s driving slower, this hidden risk can be avoided,” he said.

Du also hopes that operating schedules can be adjusted accordingly, as drivers’ resting time is narrowed due to longer work hours.

“Our breaks are shortened after we arrive at terminal stations. Sometimes we only have five minutes for lunch before we hit the road again,” he said.

Jiushi said more measures will be taken to alleviate driver fatigue. The company has also conducted inspections of its drivers recently at key lanes such as Taopu Road and Zhenbei Road, Daduhe Road and Beishi Road to encourage road safety.

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