Thu, 11 Aug 1994

Enforcement of Traffic Law

From Jayakarta

Even though quite some time has past since the Traffic Law was first enforced, I do not see any significant change in the country's traffic conditions. Most motorists still blatantly show their lack of compliance to regulations even though under the new law, anyone who violating them is supposed to face severe punishment.

The frequent violations committed by many drivers, especially public transit drivers, cause major problems for other motorists. Among the most worrying of the bad habits are passing from the left at high speed and stopping in "no stopping" zones. As a result, the traffic remains as chaotic as before the new Traffic Law was enforced.

The question is whether the punishment of traffic violators is really effective in teaching them to observe the regulations. Or perhaps the problem really is that the law's enforcement is not consistent.

It seems that the way the police handle traffic violations has not changed despite the new law. That is why we still often see motorists playing the traditional salam tempel game (passing a bribe while shaking hands) with police officers.

Earlier, when the new Traffic Law was about to be introduced, many people expressed concern that it would affect transportation and distribution of goods. Some of them even protested its introduction.

In fact, the new law is disappointing because it has done nothing to improve the country's traffic conditions.