Feb 14, 2017 General Comments Off on Fatal tour bus crash prompts questions of overwork
Thirty-three people are confirmed to have died when their tour bus crashed in northern Taiwan on Monday night. The bus driver and tour guide are among the dead. The tour, made up of mostly senior citizens, was on its way back to Taipei after a day of sightseeing in central Taiwan. An investigation into the cause of the accident is underway.
Premier Lin Chuan visited crash survivors in hospitals on Tuesday. He said prosecutors are looking into the cause of the incident before the Cabinet can implement response measures.
In the afternoon, President Tsai Ing-wen, legislature president Su Jia-chyuan and transportation minister Ho Chen Tan conveyed condolences to the families of the deceased.
Meanwhile, Cabinet spokesperson Hsu Kuo-yung on Tuesday was asked whether tour bus drivers are working overtime on day trips as travel time is usually constrained. He said the transportation ministry will strengthen the inspection of similar tours in the future.
Hsu rejected accusations that the recent revision to Taiwan's labor law may have contributed to the accident. The revision gives all employees the right to one day off per week plus one negotiable day off that can be traded for overtime pay. The accusation was thus that the revision had created a difficulty in scheduling bus drivers. Hsu said the tour was only a day trip and therefore the revised labor law does not apply. However, Hsu said the labor ministry will look into whether tour bus drivers are getting enough rest.
Source: Radio Taiwan International
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