Tue, 08 Mar 2005


Seat belt law now extortion racket

From Kompas

When I was returning with my family to Jakarta from Bandung by minivan, a policeman stopped me on the road to examine my driver's license and registration while reprimanding me for not using my seat belt.

In fact, when he told me to park, I was already wearing the safety belt, but not as tight as the one provided by most sedans. I was in a minivan and the belt is not equipped with a spring for automatic retraction.

The officer then began threatening to fine me Rp 1 million for failing to use the seat belt properly, despite my argument that the belt was already fastened.

After some tough bargaining, the fine was reduced to Rp 250,000. As my child was sick and frightened by the policeman, I had to yield to the pressure.

So it seems, the safety belt requirement for drivers has now become a means of extortion.

CHOTIB Jakarta