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Traffic patrol ready for Games
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09:00, September 05, 2008

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· Paralympics
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Few people can claim to have witnessed numerous motorcades carrying state leaders in a single day, but for traffic police officer Yao Weizong, it is all in a day's work.

He was on duty at the Olympics, and will do so again at the Paralympics.

Yao's team of 72 traffic police is the only one in the capital based in a traditional Beijing-style courtyard.

"This is where all my team members lived during the Olympic Games," Yao, 44, said, adding that pressure of work had prevented any of the team from going home since July 20.

In view of the central location of their patrol and its historical features, the Paralympics will be just as taxing as its predecessor, he said.

The 5.5 sq km patrol area includes Zhongnanhai, where China's top leaders meet with foreign counterparts, as well as Xidan, one of Beijing's busiest shopping areas.

Managing local traffic while the motorcades of various state leaders proceed up Chang'an Avenue has been routine work for Yao for more than two years.

"Aug 8 and 9, when 80 state-level motorcades traveled along our daily patrol route, were the busiest days in my whole career," Yao said.

Yao and his colleagues normally patrol six hours a day, but during those two days the whole team was on the beat from 6:30 am to 10:30 pm.

But Yao is happy in his work. "I'm proud to be a member of the team," Yao said.

He said the entire Olympic period had been accident-free.

Having successfully weathered the Olympics' experience, Yao is looking forward to the Paralympics, when more than a dozen state leaders will visit the capital. "All my team members are proud of our contribution to these historical events."

As part of their preparations for the Paralympics, Yao's patrol team has learned fundamental sign language at a local school for the deaf.

"We've also been busy sectioning off lanes on the city streets for the visually challenged," Yao said.

Source: China Daily

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