Mon, 22 Aug 1994

Joint operation set up to check trailer trucks

JAKARTA (JP): The Jakarta city police in cooperation with military and municipal authorities have started an operation aimed at inspecting trailer trucks for roadworthiness.

The campaign, which was launched on Friday, is part of the on going effort to fully implement the controversial 1992 traffic law.

City police chief Maj. Gen. Mochammad Hindarto said the operation, code named Operasi Timas I/1994, was the first to be held on a national scale since the new law was implemented in September 1993.

The formalities to mark the launching of the operation in Jakarta on Friday were attended by top ranking officials of the Jakarta Land and Transportation Control Agency (DLLAJ) and the Jakarta office of the transportation ministry as well as from the Jakarta metropolitan police.

About 150 officers representing the city police, DLLAJ, and the military will be deployed to oversee the operation.

In his speech, which was read by the chief of the traffic directorate at the city police headquarters, Col. Soeroso, Hindarto said that although negligible in number -- they comprise only 0.4 percent of all motorized vehicles plying the city's roads -- trailer trucks play an important part in backing up the country's economic development.

However, many trailer trucks fail to meet the basic roadworthiness standard so they are prone to break-downs, which cause traffic jams and raise the possibility of accidents.

Police records reveal there are 142 trailer truck operators in this city with a combined fleet of 2,177 trucks. Only 1,422 of that total reportedly meet the requirements set by a 1990 transportation ministry decree for trailer trucks.

"That is the reason we are conducting this operation," the two-star general said.

Three stages

Soeroso said that due to tight competition among trailer truck companies many of them have illegally modified their vehicles to save money.

"Some even use worn heads or tractor heads taken from common trucks, which are incapable of hauling containers. As a result, they often stall on the road, creating traffic jams, or they are hit by other vehicles from behind because they move too slowly," said Soeroso.

According to Soeroso, the operation will be staged in three phases.

In the first phase, which will last 21 days, trailer trucks which fail to meet the requirements of the 1990 regulation will be served written reprimands.

It will be followed by a 60-day break to give the trailer truck companies time to legally equip their vehicles.

After the grace period, the operation will resume for another 21 days during which officers will ticket any trailer trucks which fail to meet the requirements.

Aip Syarifuddin, chief of the Organda land transportation organization said that Organda fully supports the operation. (jsk)