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December 12, 2009

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Regular police rule the roads

CITY traffic police will continue to seek help from the regular police force to relieve downtown congestion before the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.

About 30 to 50 percent of the regular force have been helping traffic police during rush hours since October, said a police spokesman.

"The effect is remarkable," said Wu Jianping, deputy chief of the traffic police team.

The additional officers helped prevent thousands of traffic violations in the city, he said.

The city has a total of 7,000 traffic police, but traffic problems have increased because of construction work ahead of the Expo.

"Traffic police are the first to blame if there is a traffic jam," said Yang Jun, an officer with the suburban Jiading District traffic police.

The traffic police are happy with the extra assistance.

"They were of great help to me," said Tao Ning, 29, a traffic officer who used to guide vehicle flows alone at the intersection of Changning Road and Kaixuan Road, one of the busiest in Changning District. Shen Liyong, a regular police officer in Changning, has been at the intersection from 7am to 9am each day since October, together with three colleagues.

Shen is one of 13 personnel in Changning's Huayang Police Station who have taken on the extra duties.

The station has a total of 34 officers.

Standing at the four corners of the intersection, Shen said he and the other three can spot and stop potential law breakers in time.

And they can more easily persuade pedestrians to obey the rules rather than traffic assistants.

Meanwhile, the time traffic police spend at the city's 64 busiest intersections has been doubled from the usual five hours each day to 10.


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