Mon, 29 Aug 1994

Traffic fines to rise up to 100% as of next month

JAKARTA (JP): The government has announced that it will increase traffic fines up to 100 percent as of September in Jakarta as part of a plan to enhance motorists' obedience to traffic laws.

City Police Chief Maj. Gen. Mochammad Hindarto said over the weekend that records show that motorists tend to ignore traffic laws because the existing fines are so low.

Hindarto said that the number of traffic accidents grew by 67.1 percent in the period of April-June compared to the first three months of the year, while the number of deaths during the same period increased by 1.9 percent.

"Police issue around 1,200 tickets on average every day, up from the previous period. Motorists are not afraid to violate the traffic law since they think the fines are not burdensome," he added.

As part of the efforts to improve adherence of the traffic laws, city police, the provincial prosecutor's office and high court have agreed to increase traffic fines as of September. The move is to be applied exclusively in Jakarta.

The present traffic fines were issued prior to the implementation of the 1992 traffic law on Sept. 17, 1993.

Public upset

The traffic law sets fines at up to Rp 6 million (US$2,760). This upset the public because they considered the new fines exorbitant. The public's strong opposition to the implementation of the law, which was due in September 1992, delayed its application.

In response to the public's protests, the authorities then stated that the rate of fines could be adjusted to the financial capability of the public. Each province then had its own fine rates.

Under the new fine scale, drivers of non-motorized transportation, such as becak (pedicabs) and horsecarts, can be fined between Rp 10,000 and 15,000, depending on the type of violation committed, compared to Rp 5,000 for all violations under the present fine system.

Fines for motorcycles are set between Rp 10,000 and Rp 15,000, compared to the present rate of between Rp 5,000 and Rp 15,000.

Drivers of private cars and public buses can be fined between Rp 15,000 and Rp 50,000 compared to between Rp 10,000 and Rp 25,000 under the present rates.

Drivers of pick-ups can be fined between Rp 15,000 and Rp 75,000 compared to between Rp 10,000 and Rp 30,000 under the present rates.

The new rates of fines for trucks are set between Rp 25,000 and Rp 125,000 compared to the old rate of between Rp 15,000 and Rp 50,000.

Drivers of trailer trucks can be fined between Rp 30,000 and Rp 150,000 compared to between Rp 15,000 and Rp 60,000 under the present fine rates.

Among the most serious violations, which automatically incur the maximum fine, are ignoring traffic signs and driving without a license. (jsk)