The Hanoitimes - Pham Duc Chinh, aged 83, for the past 15 years regardless of the weather condition has voluntarily assumed the responsibility of a traffic police in Lai Xa village.
Approaching the front gate of Lai Xa village, we were touched with the image of an old man with a smiling face and a red band on his arm, standing in the middle of the front gate to control the traffic. This man is called as a special “traffic police” by many villagers in Lai Xa village.
Standing there to control the traffic, Chinh stands out among the crowd. Just like a real traffic police, Chinh control the traffic efficiently, so that people can get pass the bottleneck in the front gate of Lai Xa village smoothly. With a strong voice, he told us that the rapid urbanization rate has caused the congestion in the road to Lai Xa village. The road is the conjunction between Lai Xa and high way No. 32, where two schools are located nearby (Hoai Duc high school and Kim Chung middle school), so that there is often a huge traffic in rush hour. Chinh’s house is near to the front gate, so everyday, he witnessed many traffic accidents, which are mainly due to the narrow road and huge traffic going through. This was the reason for Chinh to become a traffic police. In 2002, he started voluntarily controlling traffic in the front gate of Lai Xa village with a plastic stool, a control stick and a whistle, a job he has been doing as of present.
Regardless of the weather, Pham Duc Chinh is still committed to his job.
Everyday, he works on three shifts, from 5.30 a.m to 7.30 a.m, from 9.30 a.m to 11.30 a.m, and from 3.30 p.m to 5.30 p.m. At first, everyone though he was a weirdo, but after seeing the efficiency in his works, they started follow his orders, resulting in a significant reduction of traffic accidents and congestion.
15 years of being a traffic police, he has not taken a day off yet, regardless of the weather condition. Concerning about Chinh’s health, his family asked him to stop doing the job but could not convince him to do so. Nguyen Thi Hoa, a store owner near the gate said: ”he could not stop working and is concerned about the traffic”.
Nguyen Quang Duy, a 11th grade student is grateful to Chinh’s commitment: “with his presence, there are no traffic accidents or congestion in the village. He always reminds us of following traffic rule, going slowly and be aware of the surroundings”.
With the difficult nature of the job, the village wants to pay him, but Chinh said:”my work is not worth getting paid. For me, my happiness in life is to receive greetings and cares from villagers, so it is my pleasures to help people around”. As the day got darker and colder, but at the age of 83, the image of Chinh in villagers’ eye is still a responsible traffic police and willing to help people any time and any where.
Ngoc Thuy - Tran Thao