Tour bus flips over on highway no.5


News in Chinese:國五翻車33死-司機女兒打臉旅行社-除夕上班到出事僅休1天-062500196.html

In English, more details:

The roof of the bus was ripped off and passengers flew out of the bus, reports said. Out of the 44 passengers, 11 were still being treated in hospital Tuesday. The crash amounted to the most serious road accident in Taiwan for 30 years.

The 33th fatality announced Tuesday was an unnamed man who succumbed to his injuries at the Taipei Municipal Wanfang Hospital.

The ages of the victims ranged from 21 to 68, with most of them in their 50s and 60s.

The precise cause of the accident has not been announced yet, but theories mentioned included speed 20 kilometers per hour over the 60 kph limit and driver fatigue after at least 14 hours at the wheel.

Iris Travel Agency Co., Ltd., which owned the bus, said the driver, a man surnamed Kang who was among the fatalities, had received 24 hours of rest before venturing out on Monday’s trip, but his daughter told the media Tuesday that he had only had one day off over the 16 days since the start of the Lunar New Year holiday.

Kang had been working as a bus driver for more than five years, and each day he left for work between 5 and 6 and the morning and came home between 10 and 11, his daughter said.

Even on his one recent day off, on February 10, he had not returned home until 8 in the morning and gone back out during the afternoon to check his vehicle, according to his daughter. The bus was 19 years old but had passed all safety tests, though some media reports claimed the seats were only fastened by metal wiring. Other buses of the same type were being checked Tuesday.

Penalties are being considered… won’t work, but will placate some. Government as usual cannot bring down the elephant in the middle of the room -cough, overwork fatigue karoshi- and looks for boggie men among the shadows…

Taipei, Feb. 14 (CNA) The operating license of the tour bus company involved in one of Taiwan’s deadliest traffic accidents in history will be revoked, Transportation Minister Ho Chen Tan (賀陳旦) said Tuesday.

Due to the heavy casualties involved, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) will revoke the operating license of the company that operated the tour bus – Yeow Lih Transportation (友力通運) – and thoroughly review the MOTC’s supervisory system, he said.

Ho Chen said the ministry has in the past conducted regular assessments of the operations of tour bus companies based on public safety and quality, but he admitted that it has not done enough to weed out inferior companies.

“Those companies that have performed poorly should be reported and monitored,” he said.

He said his ministry will conduct new inspections of tour bus companies with subpar evaluations in the past within the next two weeks.

Those companies that do not pass muster will be required to make improvements or face the suspension of all or part of their operations, Ho Chen warned.

The ministry will also look into the records of drivers working for those tour bus companies to see if they have committed traffic violations in the past and ask the companies to see whether they should continue to employ those drivers with tainted records.

“The bus companies have to work with the government to put the public at ease,” he said.


Karoshi? My ass. The driving with impunity culture is the culprit. But, hey. At least the government shut down Uber.


Most cases, I’d agree. But in this one, I beg to differ,as a tired driver can’t react as fast, almost missed his exit, tried to go down anyway as he is pressed by the company to be on time… kaput.


seat belts should be worn but in this case the bus got properly mashed up. laying on the floor would of probably been the only thing that would have helped.

that article about the driving culture is good, but its written by a foreigner. until Taiwanese start noticing that they drive like selfish mentalists and endanger everyone around them these things are going to keep happening.

i just don’t understand the priority of problems in taiwan. upholding a strict flawless metro system is a higher priority than basically everything else… i like the metro, its great, but i would take a dirty metro over crazy dangerous roads any day.


I presume you are referring to Taipei’s MRT system? Always remember: Taipei is not Taiwan, especially in terms of receiving tax dollars!

And making the MRT system dirty will not help to fix the other problems we are facing. It’s not a zero sum game.



and taipei still has horrendous driving. the point you seemed to miss is that the standards and laws of the MRT are very high and upholded. but something like driving which actually effects peoples safety has seemingly no standards what so ever. mixed up priority’s.


My point is simple: Taipei’s (efficiently operated) MRT system and the jackass driving we see every day are actually separate topics. Making Taipei’s MRT system shitty will not fix the jackass driving.

So what to do? Ben Goren’s outstanding detailed piece helpfully linked above by Steve4nLanguage is better than anything I could produce. The continued reinvestment in rail systems (though not without controversy) is for me another positive development–though it will not bring back these lost lives.



It is more like greed culture here. He had driven 14 hours, over 10 by law. No matter, as the company was illegal, had not presented any work records last year.

Talking about cheap, that trip had a special price of 850 if you skipped lunch. Again, cheap becomes very expensive.

Talk shows are now asking lots of questions, like why no one does that trip to Wuling Farm in one day. In a family trip, no one gets up at 5 am and comes back at 10 pm. Why the bus, 20 year old bus, ended up squashed like that? Who guarantees rest time for driver? Etc etc.

I have watched 3 different programs, so much being dug out. So sad.


I just saw on TV news that the daughter of the bus driver who perished had to work 15 days straight. There was a similar tragedy in Japan a few years ago, a full load of mostly young, college age people who were on the way or back from skiing resort, all perished when the bus driver was over speeding and lost control and fell over the steep hill.

Both cases raise a serious issue that a better enforcement of existing law on labor condition is needed as well as a better law needs to be written (just as the current administration is doing while many KMT are protesting?).


i never said they were related. i just don’t understand why there is a massive disconnect. to me its like using a toilet indoors then pissing in the middle of the street where everyone can see, when you go outside…and literally zero people giving a shit about it.


Overworked for sure. Tireness can not be cured in one day of rest. It builds up and catches you unawares sometimes.

It is feasible after a long day he fell into a micro sleep. That has happened to me often and is a concern . You are driving and suddenly you literally fall asleep and I have found myself in the next lane, after sleeping for a micro second.

Exhaustion is a killer.

Many contributing factors here most likely.
Among which:

  1. DRiver exhausted from being at work long hours for too many days.
  2. Tight turn off a high speed road, catches people unaware how fast they are going.
  3. Night time visibility reduced
  4. The very nature of that bend with no run off . The run off is a side of a mountain.
    5 . Double decker bus, unstable by design. Maybe its time to go back to single deck buses. Chances are the bus could have stayed upright , instead of crashing the passengers against the side of the mountain, assuring a high death rate.

The China Airlines A300 that crashed at CKS on its way in from Bali was partly because of pilot exhaustion. The flight crew had been flying much more then regular hours prior due to CNY heavy schedule.

When the proverbial shit hits the fan, they didn’t have all their mental faculties available to handle things correctly.

Here we have a tired driver driving a high center of gravity bus, approaching a bend with no run off that requires a high rate of deceleration of speed , coming from a high speed road.

A recipe for disaster unless one is quick witted and highly alert.
The bus driver was have been under essentially “road stupor or hypnosis”. A common state when droning on for long distances at night and when tired.

An example of these tall buses being highly unstable. It’s lucky not more died in this crash in Taiwan.


Jeez tommy that last clip…gravel truck just misses the bus. Of course the driver was speeding as well.


As per Apple Daily, the driver signed in at Taipei Main Station at 4:52 AM. He had worked 18 days straight. For the last 3 days, he had been driving up and down to Wuling Farm, a very challenging route, with steep hills and curves, plus the highway and the Shueshan Tunnel. The driver worked 12 hours a day for 1000 NTD a day.


That would be $83/h, about 65% of the minimum wage and without any overtime penalty. :dizzy_face:


Well, they did have to come clean and accept that the guy had not rested… Yep, the spokesperson actually accepted he told a lie.國五翻車33死-稱司機休息2天-李奇嶽道歉-055400625.html

BTW, the company was not paying any laoabo or other, you know, details. One wonders about their taxes…

Also, it is rumored the driver had a cold. Family says he asked to rest and boss said no. Driver did not dare to take medicine as he was driving. So on he went…


The boss should be able to be sued by the family of every person that died and by all the survivors. Publicize that. Maybe it might bring some change.


i hope so, i thought there was some new laws about working over time now needing to be paid recently. hasn’t had any effect so far. in my gfs company they don’t let them do overtime now as they don’t want to pay them any extra… no, they just need to do the work at home. no difference.

i’ve tried to ask her aswell what the extra benefit was of working all the extra (and now illegal?) over time work was? the only reward she seems to get from it is more and more work piled on.


Apparently the guy that so far has been the face of the company is not the boss. The real boss seems to be a 60 year old ex driver himself.

If justice is made, it would be to squeeze the owners for every cent of profit. Alas, the SOP is to close down the company and set up with a new name. Or change your name, a la the guy who built the building in Tainan that toppled over last year.

At least the family is not taking it down. The daughter has been defending her father fiercely. It is very convenient to pin it on the driver, make it a one time thing. The truth is that flaunting the law and labor abuses are an endemic cancer that unleashes a tragedy every season. If the authorities refuse to accept that, we will have this nightmare over and over and over again.

But the Government fears backlash. It is hard to put the bell on the cat, let alone kill a roaming tiger.


I’ve always thought before this that location on the highway was kind of odd, unordinary, and unexpected. Maybe the government should be felt partly responsible.


In the UK recently the owner of a transport company was convicted of manslaughter and imprisoned for seven and a half years after one of his poorly-maintained vehicles was involved in a crash that killed four people.

No slap-on-the-wrist fines. Lock these fuckers up.