Traffic accidents, crimes mar holiday exodus
Paper Edition | Page: 9
As millions of people leave the capital for their hometowns throughout the nation in celebration of Idul Fitri, traffic accidents and crimes have risen sharply.
The Jakarta Police said on Friday that 98 traffic accidents, resulting in 138 casualties, occurred from Aug. 11 to Aug. 16.
“These accidents claimed 13 lives, while 23 were gravely injured and 102 only suffered minor injuries,” said Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto. He added that these accidents caused a total of Rp 350 million (US$36,750) in damages and mostly involved motorcycles.
Besides accidents, Rikwanto said that the police also recorded 136 crimes, including assault, motorcycle theft and house burglary in Greater Jakarta over the same period, with most of the crimes occurring in Bekasi, West Java.
Between Aug. 11 and Aug. 16, 550,580 people had used public transportation for the annual exodus, according to the police spokesman.
“Some 255,284 traveled home by airplanes, 198,907 by buses, 91,493 by trains and 4,896 by ships,” Rikwanto said.
To ensure the safety of home-bound travel, the police launched “Operation Ketupat Jaya”, referring to the rhombus-shaped rice cakes synonymous with Idul Fitri. During the operation, which began on Aug. 11, Jakarta Police deployed a combined force of 8,000 officers, drawing on both provincial and municipal forces in Greater Jakarta, according to Rikwanto.
Rikwanto said that the police were also assisted by 455 officers from the city administration, 90 military police officers and 100 officials from toll road operator PT Jasa Marga in their efforts to safeguard the exodus.
Moreover, he said that 111 posts had been established to monitor the flow of traffic for the holiday exodus. The posts are available until Aug. 26, providing health services, vehicle repairs and telecommunication services.
Besides the police, the city administration also has worked to ensure travelers’ safety by monitoring the conditions of buses used for the exodus.
The Jakarta Transportation Agency said on Friday that it had prevented a total of 755 buses from departing after they failed safety checks.
According to Udar Pristono, the agency’s chief, a total of 7,357 buses had been checked since Monday.
“Each day, around 10 percent of the vehicles we inspect are found to have problems,” he said, adding that the problems were mostly worn tires, broken windows and faulty breaks.
Udar’s agency, together with the National Narcotics Agency (BNN), also tested drivers for drugs at the city’s main terminals — Lebak Bulus in South Jakarta, Pulogadung and Kampung Rambutan in East Jakarta, and Kalideres in West Jakarta. (han)