Planet China

School dance

The latest innovation from China’s traffic police? Dancing children. The local cops in Hebei’s Handan reckoned drivers would better comply with traffic rules if they got 10 year-old children to dance on crossings to prevent drivers from running the red light. To this end they came up with a ‘waiting-at-the-light’ dance, reports the Beijing Youth Daily, in which eight or so kids (accompanied by two female police officers) would do a syncronised jig to music and entertain waiting drivers. A propaganda officer with the local traffic police department explained to the Beijing Youth Daily that Handan was “in the process of creating a civilised city” and the police had worked with a local dance school to choreograph the routine as a means to give drivers a welcome distraction while they waited. But when video of the performances went online last month it soon sparked controversy, with netizens pointing out that it was unsafe for young children to be dancing at busy traffic junctions. In the wake of the nationwide complaints, the Handan police suspended the dancing, stating that it was now too hot for the students to be dancing. An officer explained that whether the dancing will be revived “depends on how thing go in the future” (which sounds like a ‘no’).

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