The Cần Thơ City Traffic Safety Committee last week destroyed several traffic police effigies because it did not have money to fix them.
The effigies, made from plastic and sponge, were seriously downgraded and dirty after being installed along Highway 91 in Thốt Nốt District for a year.
The effigy in Long Thạnh, a residential quarter in Thốt Nốt Ward, was broken, its color had faded and wild grass grew at its feet.
A local resident told the Đất Việt (Vietnam Land) e-newspaper that the effigy broke some months ago but was not fixed by local authorities. Some other effigies were very dirty with graffiti drawings on their faces.
Another resident, who has a small shop near an effigy, said that when the effigy was first installed, it was useful because people thought that it was a real traffic policeman and they obeyed the law.
But after a while, the only people who took it seriously were those from other provinces and cities, she said. Locals still surpassed the speed limit and ran red traffic lights.
The Thốt Nốt District Police installed 12 traffic police effigies on May 20, 2015 at a cost of VNĐ40 million (US$1,700).
At that time, captain Lê Việt Trung, director of the Thốt Nốt District Police, told media they were aimed at raising people’s awareness of traffic laws.
Thanks to the effigies, the number of people driving at high speed, not wearing helmets and driving in the wrong lanes decreased sharply, he said.
But just like real traffic police, effigies too can become worn out and need to retire. — VNS