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Sanook went to town on a story after they found what appeared to be a tireless traffic policeman doing his duty in the Thai countryside directing cars and bikes away from danger.
And it was in fact not a “model cop” at all – it seemed to be an official of the Department of Rural Roads.
Best of all it was anything but inactive – it was actually rigged up to solar power and was moving its arm.
Amid much laughter Sanook reporters who stumbled on the scene in Ban Phrabaht of Lampang interviewed the head of the roadside work gang Narin Chaiwongluang, 57.
Narin has christened his helper “Ja Wai” (the able officer) hailing it as a great help to his men.
He said it was the idea of someone high up in the Highways Department.
“It’s great,” he said, “And much better than a real person.
“He doesn’t get tired and is doing his duty all day even in the extreme heat”.
He added that motorists thinking it was a police checkpoint all slowed down worried about being arrested for speeding. Bikers without helmets also looked worried, he said.
Sanook said that 8 of the “Ja Wai” were now on duty in Chiang Mai and 13 had been made in total.
Thaivisa notes that “Ja Cheuy” – models of policemen – are a familiar sight in Thailand both in Bangkok and up country.
Sometimes they even carry radar guns though it is debatable if these are also fake or ever actually work – accusations that are not infrequently made about the RTP themselves.