Profile: Beijing's traffic police brave extreme cold wave

Source: Xinhua| 2021-01-11 17:29:33|Editor: huaxia

BEIJING, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- At a crossroad in downtown Beijing, Song Chenfei started his daily duty of directing the traffic on a motorbike on Thursday morning, one of the Chinese capital's coldest days since 1966.

Beijing has experienced an extreme cold wave since early Wednesday. The lowest temperature went down to minus 19.6 degrees Celsius. But these drastic temperature drops and strong winds didn't stop hardy souls like Song.

"There is no difference as it is our routine work, no matter in cold winter or hot summer," said the 32-year-old traffic policeman.

He is among the hundreds of traffic police on motorbikes in the capital city.

"As a traffic policeman on a motorbike, one needs to not only grasp motorcycle driving skills but also master basic traffic management solutions. It includes accident handling, guidance, law enforcement and investigation, and emergency response and rescue," he said.

"On cold winter days, we have to wear more clothes and sometimes use hot packs when patrolling the roads," Song added.

Beijing has long been plagued by endless traffic jams during rush hours. In the case of traffic accidents, it is difficult for police cars to reach the scene promptly. Thanks to the flexibility of patrolling on motorbikes, the traffic police are often the first to arrive and take photos to better record the on-site situation and deal with disputes. A traffic accident is usually resolved within 10 minutes with the help of motorbikes, according to Song.

"When I first took on the job about ten years ago after graduating from college, I felt a bit overstretched due to the high-intensity and fast working pace," he said.

Now, Song is used to weaving through traffic and rushing to the scenes wherever accidents take place.

When it comes to traffic law enforcement, especially under circumstances where administrative detention may be involved, drivers tend to be resistant and reluctant to cooperate with the police. Song always puts himself in their shoes and explains relevant laws and regulations to them, showing empathy to gain their trust and cooperation.

He once caught a drunk driver on the road in the evening. The driver said he had no choice but to drive alone as one of his family members was at death's door in the hospital, and there was no taxi nearby. The policeman first confiscated the hasty driver's driving license and then drove him to the hospital in person.

"We still can reach out a helping hand without going against society's legal principles," Song said.

On Wednesday morning, Song saw a girl standing on the roadside with a viola in her hand, waiting for any passing taxi in the cold weather just before he ended his daily patrolling. The scene harked back to Song's memories of playing the violin during his school days. Later, he drove the girl to her school on his motorcycle.

The traffic policeman often feels the public's trust and respect. "As long as we are in police uniforms, people often turn to us for help. It is our obligation to help them within our abilities," Song said. Enditem