A traffic police officer works to ensure traffic security in a T-junction in Tam Điệp City in northern Ninh Bình Province. VNA/VNS Photos
HÀ NỘI — Trần Thị Thuý stands next to the grave, bending down to choose a place to put the offerings and light incense for her husband.
It had been a year since her husband, Major Trần Văn Vang, died on duty.
Thuý has never forgotten the empty feeling when the head of traffic police team phoned her to say her husband had an accident while he was on duty in the Hà Nội-Thái Nguyên Expressway.
On the taxi to his workplace, Thuý kept asking the police team’s head for more information about her husband, but he didn’t say anything and hung up.
Thuý rushed to Thái Nguyên General Hospital where her husband was hospitalised for emergency treatment, and was informed that he was brain-dead.
Vang was hit by a speeding motorcyclist whom he attempted to stop on the expressway in October 2017. He came to the middle of the roadway to stop the traffic violator, who did not slow down and collided into the traffic police officer.
Vang was knocked unconscious and suffered severe injuries.
Thuý said she couldn’t recognise her husband as his face was deformed and his body swollen following the collision. Not until she touched his hands, did she believe it was her husband.
"I don't know how I took that pain. I felt like half of me was dead,” she said.
Major Vang is among two martyrs of the Ministry of Public Security and the only martyr in peacetime from his hometown in Tân Thành Commune in northern Ninh Bình Province since 1981.
Reports from the Ministry of Public Security showed that in the past two years there were 72 cases of resisting on-duty traffic police officers, causing the deaths of two police officers and injuries to 27 others.
In 2017, 51 cases were reported with three traffic police killed and six others injured.
In the first eight months of this year, two traffic police officers have lost their lives in the performance of duty.
Major Đặng Thanh Tuấn and Senior Sergeant Võ Văn Toàn of the Police Team for Traffic Safety and Social Order under the Sơn Trà District Police Department were killed when they were chasing local youngsters participating in an illegal motorbike race.
Tuấn was 41 and was a father of two children, and Toàn was only 23.
Traffic police can often face life-threatening situations with little or no warning.
On September 24, Lieutenant Vũ Trung Toàn, a traffic police officer of Trấn Yên District in northern Yên Bái Province, was hit by a speeding motorcyclist while on patrol.
He suffered severe injuries and was hospitalised for treatment.
On July 8, Lieutenant Vũ Văn Quang of Hà Nội Police’s Traffic Police Team No4 was hit by a driver, causing multiple injuries.
A traffic police officer helps students fix their bikes in Na Hang District in northern Tuyên Quang Province.
Apart from safety risks, traffic police face extreme working conditions.
In summer days, they have to work in temperatures of between 35 and 50 degrees Celsius.
Major Nguyễn Quang Việt, a police officer of the Traffic Police Department’s Expressway Traffic Patrol Team No4 said he and his colleagues carried chilled water tanks and wet towels to cope with the burning heat, but the ice melted within three hours.
Apart from ensuring traffic order and safety, traffic police are also in charge of fighting crimes.
This August alone, traffic police detected 606 criminals nationwide and seized 123,214 tablets of ecstasy, more than 210kg of drugs of all kinds, more than 51,170 packs of imported cigarettes, 120 cubic metres of sand and many other goods worth nearly VNĐ3 billion (US$129,430).
To honour those who give their lives on duty, on July 22, the Government granted awards and financial support to 318 martyrs working in the ministries of public security, transport, and national defence.
Major Trần Văn Vang is among those martyrs.
In a small house in Phú Diễn Village, Thanh Trì District, Thuý, a nurse at a hospital in Hà Nội, sells dry vermicelli to get more money to raise her three-year-old daughter.
Thuý said she and her husband decided to buy the house after saving money for nearly 10 years and getting loans from relatives.
A month later, her husband died. She now works hard in the hope of having a better life for her daughter.
Thuý said every time she takes her daughter to visit Vang’s brother in HCM City, she calls him ‘dad’ as the brother and Vang look alike.
Three years since the tragic accident, Thuý still keeps the uniform her husband wore that day. She had to wash it four times to clean it.
Thuý said she felt as if her husband was still with her. He had put on his uniform and had gone to work to ensure the safety of people and would come home soon. — VNS