Macau (MNA) – The Macau SAR Government should roll out guidelines for breaks between shifts for bus drivers and bus companies, remarked Kou Kun Pang, a member of the Traffic Affairs Consultative Committee, in a talk with Macau News Agency (MNA).
Local bus company representatives said previously in a press conference on Wednesday that drivers’ break times are flexible given the constant variations caused by traffic.
“It is better for the government to lay out what is meant by adequate time for breaks,” Mr. Kou told MNA.
“If different [bus] companies have different arrangements for breaks, it would be very difficult to have an appropriate safety standard to consider,” he added.
On January 10, some 32 part-time drivers of New Era Public Bus Co. Ltd. were temporarily suspended following an accident involving one of its buses, which had a part-time driver at the wheel. A 67-year old woman was killed when the vehicle crashed with four light vehicles on Rua de Francisco Xavier Pereira.
Although agreeing with the government’s immediate measure of suspending part-time drivers after the accident happened, Mr. Kou commented that the city’s shortage of bus drivers would have a negative impact on bus services if part-time bus drivers are to be entirely eliminated.
On the other hand, Mr. Kou said it is very difficult to monitor how part-time bus drivers rest when they are not driving buses.
“In the long term, it is important to study how to make use of part-time drivers,” said Mr. Kou.
[Edited by Sheyla Zandonai]