It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a … mannequin traffic cop? Yup, that’s what you would have seen, if you were driving on the Sihuiqiao section of Beijing’s intercity highway yesterday. Propped up in a construction zone, a crash test dummy fully equipped with a safety vest, a hard hat and an auto-rotating signaling stick (we want one too for the next Shanghaiist Rave). A crash test dummy wearing a helmet — we love it.
When asked, Mr. Zhang, the local traffic controller said (and we paraphrase):
“There’s too much traffic on the highway and some drivers tend to speed, one slip of the wheel … it’s too dangerous to have a real person directing traffic in a highway construction zone.”
Shanghaiist agrees wholeheartedly with Mr. Zhang’s assessment. Although we haven’t seen how Beijing folks drive, if driving patterns in Shanghai are any indication, directing traffic on a Chinese highway is about as safe as being Dick Cheney’s hunting partner. Just don’t ask the shiny traffic cops for directions.
Here is the full article on Sina.com (in Chinese).