The West Java Police recorded 8,541 traffic accidents this year, which is an increase of 2.2 percent compared to last year’s 8,357 cases, a police officer said on Thursday.
Despite the findings of the annual police report, the number of victims killed in road accidents dropped from 2,830 people in 2011 to 2,577 people in 2012.
“On average, seven people were killed in road accidents every day — that is a victim every three or four hours,” said West Java Police chief Brig. Gen. Tubagus Anis Angkawijaya.
West Java Traffic Police director Sr. Comr. Imam Pramukarno said that 70 percent of traffic accidents involved motorcyclists and pillion riders.
“The highest number of cases were head to head collisions,” said Imam.
Overall, road accidents that claimed lives usually involved automobiles, especially trucks and buses.
High profile cases included a bus packed with Taiwanese and Chinese tourists that toppled over at the Tanjakan Enem gradient in Tangerang, which killed four people. Another accident, which took place earlier this week, also involved a bus full of tourists and a truck on the Cikampek-Purwakarta-Padalarang turnpike. “Seven people were killed in the accident,” said Imam.
According to Imam, major accidents usually occur during holidays. “If people had been careful and obeyed traffic rules and signs, I’m sure they would be safe on the road,” he said.
Anis said the rising number of traffic accidents was associated with the issuance of drivers licenses by police.
“Applications for driver’s licenses are not currently effective — we will evaluate it,” Anis said.
Based on police records, 635,235 traffic violations occurred in 2012. The number is lower than the 681,340 traffic violations in the previous year.
Meanwhile, in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), the NTB Police recorded that 1,708 traffic accidents occurred between January and November this year. There were 414 fatalities, 702 seriously wounded and 1,794 slightly wounded.
The cases occurred in 10 regencies and mayoralties in NTB. In 2011, 462 lives were claimed, 692 severely wounded and 918 slightly wounded.
“Compared to 2011, the number of fatalities actually dropped 26 percent, however, 414 fatal cases is still considered high,” NTB Traffic Police director Sr. Comr. Djoko Rudi Ediyanto told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.
He said that most of the traffic incidents in NTB were caused by human error and many cases involved teenagers and those of productive age.
“Generally, accidents were caused by reckless driving, for example overtaking or jumping a red light, the majority of fatal accidents occurred because road users did not use safety gear, such as safety helmets,” said Djoko.
“To educate people on traffic orderliness, we will also conduct campaigns in schools, especially junior and senior high schools, where many students ride motorcycles,” he said.