Sat, 03 Apr 2004

Traffic violations soar ahead of elections

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The number of traffic violations committed during the election campaign period in Greater Jakarta increased 2,500 percent when compared to the previous election campaign period in 1999.

Jakarta Police records revealed on Friday that a total of 14,478 traffic offenses took place during this year's campaign period from March 11 to April 1. In 1999, the number of violations was only 579 cases.

From the 14,478 violators, 6,679 of them were tried in the capital's five district courts while the remaining 7,508 cases were considered light offenses for which the offenders were reprimanded.

Previously, city traffic police chief Sr. Comr. Sulistyo Ishak said that most violators were motorcyclists participating political rallies who were not wearing helmets. The second highest offense was transporting more than two people on a motorcycle.

In 1999, from 579 traffic offenses, the police ticketed 213 violators and warned the remaining 366. But in the 1997 campaign period, no tickets or warnings were given to offenders.

The police recorded no campaign-related fatalities this year compared to 11 lives claimed in the 1999 campaigns.