Helicopter deployed to guide holiday traffic

Writer: Han Ximin  | Editor: Holly Wang  | From:  | Updated: 2019-01-31

Shenzhen traffic police have been using a helicopter to patrol and provide updated traffic information for drivers who are on their way home for Spring Festival family reunions.

It is the first time that police have used aerial patrol to ensure smooth traffic during holidays.

Through an information sharing mechanism with traffic police in other cities in the province, as well as police in Jiangxi and Hunan provinces, the updated traffic information on expressways to the east, north and west will be sent to drivers through various channels, such as microblogs and WeChat accounts.

Five helicopter patrols, including three before the festival and two before the end of the festival, will be organized, police said in a release Tuesday.

The first daytime patrol Jan. 29 saw a surge of outbound vehicles on expressways leaving the city. Traffic was in good order, even though vehicles moved slowly in some congested sections like Humen Bridge.

Police estimate that around 131,000 vehicles will cross Humen Bridge a day during the travel rush. On Feb. 10, the last day of the holiday, the number will peak at 160,000. To ensure smooth car trips, police have shut down the entrance to the Weiyuan Toll Gate of the bridge from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Drivers traveling to Guangzhou, Zhuhai or Shenzhen will need to enter the bridge through the toll gate of Yanjing Expressway, the Taiping Overpass entrance or by taking a ferry to those cities from Humen.

Meanwhile, in a move to limit travelers and avoid crowding, Shenzhen North Railway Station started Jan. 28 to only allow passengers with tickets for trains leaving within two hours to enter the waiting hall.

During the periods from 6:50 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., only passengers that will depart within two hours will be allowed to enter.

Statistics showed Shenzhen North Railway Station handled 213,000 trips Monday. In the eight days since the start of the Spring Festival transport season, 1.5 million people have left the city through the station.

The railway station estimates that it will handle 250,000 passengers a day in the week before the Spring Festival holiday starts.

The Spring Festival travel rush started from Jan. 25 and will last until March 1, during which railway trips are expected to hit 413 million in total nationally, up 8.3 percent from a year ago, according to a Xinhua story.

According to the Chinese zodiac calendar, the Year of the Pig starts Feb. 5, and the public holiday associated with it lasts from Feb. 4 to 10.

Hundreds of millions of Chinese return to their hometowns for family reunions during the Spring Festival holiday.