A total of five elementary school students fell out of their school vans in two separate cases in the southern Vietnamese province of Dong Nai this week, sparking concerns over the safety of this form of student transportation.
The first incident occurred in Long Binh Ward, Bien Hoa City on Tuesday morning, when three first graders of Phan Boi Chau Elementary School were caught on CCTV falling out of the back of a 16-seater van as the vehicle made a turn.
The young students only suffered minor scratches as there was no incoming vehicle from behind the van.
In the second case, two fourth-grade students of Dien Hong Elementary School in Trang Bom District dropped out of a similar van on Friday afternoon.
A probe later showed that the vehicle inspection certificate of the school van had expired.
According to Luu Thi Ngoc Que, head of the education office in Trang Bom District, most local school vans are used to transport elementary school students, whose parents are laborers and do not have time to take their kids to classes.
The use of such student transportation is also common in Bien Hoa City, Long Thanh District, and Nhon Trach District, which are home to many workers in Dong Nai.
Tran Van Vinh, chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, on Saturday ordered the Department of Education and Training and the Department of Transport to properly deal with the two incidents and related violations.
The two agencies were also tasked with examining all school vans and buses across the province to prevent the situation from repeating and ensure safety for all students.
Dong Nai traffic police stated they had dealt with 319 traffic offenses relating to school buses, issuing fines totaling VND320 million (US$13,835) since the beginning of 2019.
The most common violations were illegal parking and passenger stuffing.