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March 25, 2012

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Helicopter patrols for highways

SHANGHAI police deployed helicopters yesterday to monitor traffic on highways to cope with the annual tomb sweeping rush.

More than 8.1 million residents are expected to sweep tombs from this weekend through the coming Qingming Festival holiday from April 2 to 4, the Shanghai Public Security Bureau said yesterday.

Officials said they expect a 5 percent increase in traffic flow, or 700,000 vehicles, this year.

Renovation work on the S5 and G1501 expressways should add further pressure on traffic.

Two helicopters from the aviation force of the Shanghai police lifted off yesterday and patrolled the city's expressways that lead to major cemeteries, officials said.

Police said the helicopters can spot traffic congestion in time and the crew can use a speaker to suggest drivers take alternative routes.

The helicopters can also be used in an accident. If someone is seriously injured, a helicopter can land and quickly transport the person to a hospital.

Traffic on the city's highways moved smoothly yesterday, according to police.


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