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Aiming at the limitations of LEACH, PEGASIS and PEDAP, we present a multi-layer energy-efficient and delay-reducing chain-based data gathering protocol (MEDC) for wireless sensor network, under consideration of the characteristics of wireless sensing traffic monitoring network (WSTMN) such as band monitoring area, high-speed target, long-distance base station and restricted network density. The protocol puts forward the idea of multi-layer chain, and uses the minimum total energy algorithm to construct the chain. Moreover, the maximum residual energy of nodes is the standard for selection of leaders. The experimental results show that MEDC works for WSTMN better than LEACH and PEGASIS, which can not only prolong the network lifetime, but also reduce the network delay remarkably.