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Jakarta Post

Drivers reject plan to ban use of phone while driving

  • Fachrul Sidiq

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, March 5, 2018   /   08:30 pm
Drivers reject plan to ban use of phone while driving App-based motorcycle taxis are seen on Jl. Rasuna Said in South Jakarta. (JP/Wendra Ajistyatama)

Drivers of app-based motorcycle taxis have expressed their opposition to a planned crackdown on the use of mobile phones on the road.

Citing Article 106 of Law No. 22/2009 on traffic and land transportation, which stipulates that road users must drive with full concentration, the Jakarta Police said checking the map potentially diverted a driver's concentration and could lead to accidents.

"Checking the map is important for us, particularly when entering a new area," said Hari Sulistyo, 35, a Go-Jek driver who lives in Tanah Abang, Central Jakarta. "It's not like we are playing a game, anyway" he added.

He said drivers having to frequently stop only to check the map would exacerbate congestion in Jakarta, because tens of thousands of drivers relied on apps to help them navigate.

Another driver, Pramono, 40, who lives in Cisauk of Tangerang regency, said he always checked his maps when taking a passenger, particularly when traveling in Jakarta. 

"Other modes of transportation, such as airplanes, have such a navigation system, why can't we?" he asked, adding that "it's not like we're glued to the screen all the time. We check the map only if the situation allows".

He said audio assistance provided by map apps also helped him find the best route, without having to look at the screen. 

The Jakarta Police began a 21-day traffic operation dubbed Operation Keselamatan Jaya on Monday.

The operation also targets people driving on the wrong side of the road, those with overcrowded vehicles, underage drivers as well as motorcyclists without helmets.