Reckless Drivers Leave 27 Dead In 9 Days Despite Police Action

By webadmin on 04:07 pm Jul 26, 2012
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Bayu Marhaenjati

Twenty-seven people have been killed in traffic accidents in the past nine days in the midst of an intensified police operation to crack down on traffic violations, highlighting what officials on Wednesday decried as a lack of driver discipline.

Adj. Sr. Comr. Budiyanto, head of operations at the Jakarta Police’s traffic unit, said the deaths resulted from 140 accidents, which also left 144 people injured, 57 of them seriously.

“Almost all of the accidents, about 90 percent, were a result of human error such as the driver falling asleep at the wheel, flouting traffic rules or merely driving badly,” he said. “The public’s awareness of traffic regulations and road safety is still very low. They’re always jostling for space and making traffic worse, or driving the wrong way down the street.

“When we post officers on the streets, the number of violations goes down significantly, but when there are no officers the drivers are back at it again,” he added.

Budiyanto identified 87 locations throughout the city where traffic violations were most common. The six main ones are Jalan Kramat Raya, the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle and Jalan Suryopranoto in Central Jakarta; the entire length of Jalan TB Simatupang in South Jakarta; Kalimalang in East Jakarta; and the Cakung-Cilincing area in North Jakarta.

Budiyanto said the police could not be expected to resolve the traffic problem through discipline alone.

“This is the responsibility of the city transportation office, the public works office and so on,” he said.

Police also said there had been 19 reported cases of crimes on public transportation in the first six months of the year.

An additional incident resulted in one arrest after an attempted rape on board an angkot on Monday night.

The female victim got on an angkot in the Semanggi area at 11 p.m. Several minutes later, four male passengers shut the door and windows and shut off the light.

They were groping her when a motorcyclist identified as Sgt. Nicholas Sandi, from the Army Special Forces, followed the angkot and banged on its window, prompting the assailants to dump the victim.

Nicholas eventually captured the driver, 16-year-old Ari Anggara, but the accomplices managed to get away.