At least 283 travelers killed in traffic accidents during exodus
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Vehicles inch their way forward on the Nagreg ring road in Bandung, West Java, on Thursday. The 5.4-kilometer road is the main artery between West Java and Central Java. <i> (JP/Arya Dipa) </i>
The National Police have disclosed that at least 283 people have been killed in 1,602 traffic accidents during the current exodus across the nation in the period between Aug. 11 to Aug. 15, 2012.
Aside from causing fatalities, the large number of traffic accidents had also caused material losses estimated at Rp 4.5 billion (US$472,500), according to the police.
Hundreds of thousands of travelers leave big cities annually to celebrate Idul Fitri, the end of Ramadhan fasting month, with family members and relatives in their hometowns.
“On Aug. 15 alone, 337 traffic accidents took place, resulting in the deaths of 66 people,” National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Anang Iskandar said, as quoted by tempo.com on Thursday.
From the accidents recorded that day, 116 people were severly injured and 305 others suffered minor injuries, he said, adding that material losses on that day were estimated at Rp 1.02 billion.
The largest number of traffic accidents on Aug. 15 took place in Central Java, with 81 accidents in which nine people were killed, 16 severely injured and 103 others sustaining minor injuries.
In East Java, there were 66 accidents where 11 people were killed, four severely injured and 63 sustaining minor injuries.
Accidents were also registered in West Java, Jakarta and South Sulawesi, with 28, 22 and 11 cases respectively.
“The largest number of accidents involved motorcyclists,” Anang said.
Meanwhile, thousands of travelers have been forced to stay overnight on Wednesday at Bakauheni ferry port in South Lampung regency, before continuing their journeys on Thursday morning.
“Since Wednesday evening, we have seen thousands of Sumatra-bound travelers from Java island staying overnight at Bakauheni port,” South Lampung Police spokesman Adj. Sr. Comr. Tatar Nugroho said.
When asked why the travelers had to stay overnight when there were adequate transportation and security arrangements along the route, Tatar explained that they became tired after a long journey and therefore needed to rest.
Meanwhile in Cirebon, at least 3,000 pedicab drivers, who had been banned from operating in a number of traditional markets along Java’s northern coast route, got compensation amounting to Rp 50,000 each from the Cirebon regency administration.
“We distributed the money on Thursday and Friday,” Cirebon Regent Dedi Supardi said, adding that the ban was intended to help avoid them from obstructing the flow of thousands of passengers during the exodus.
Oyos Saroso H.N. and Nana Rukmana contributed to this story from Bandar Lampung and Cirebon.