New Rule Bans 3 or More on Bikes
Motorcycle riders will face stricter safety regulations during this year’s holiday season after the passage of a revised law on road traffic, a Transportation Ministry official said on Thursday.
Suripno, director of road safety at the ministry, said motorcycle riders returning to their hometowns next month during the post-Ramadan holiday of Idul Fitri will not be allowed to carry more than one passenger.
“It is stated in the new law,” he said. “They can be fined for violations of this regulation.”
Millions of people across the country travel to their hometowns every year to celebrate Idul Fitri.
Last year, an estimated 22 million — 3.5 million of them Jakarta residents — returned to their hometowns by air, land and sea.
Suripno said with the passage of the new traffic law last June, there was now a more binding regulation for motorcycle riders.
He said the rule also applied to drivers carrying children on their motorcycles.
“When you bring a child, it’s most likely that you are also bringing another person,” he said. “That makes it at least three.”
He also said that the regulation included a ban on luggage tied to motorcycles. Passengers who wish to bring luggage, he said, should take the train or bus instead.
“For example, the husband can drive the motorbike and the wife and children can take the train,” he said.
Every Idul Fitri, state-owned railway operator Kereta Api provides trains that are customized to carry motorcycles.
Joko Setijowarno, from the Indonesian Transportation Society, said the new regulation should be strictly applied.
He said laws passed by the government would be meaningless if the police failed to enforce them in the field.
“Children riding on an overloaded motorbike is especially dangerous,” he said. “The police must be very strict on that particular rule.”
Besides the rule on passengers, Suripno said the law also required motorcyclists to turn on their headlights during the daytime. This rule was introduced in 2006, but it was only a verbal regulation and was poorly monitored.
“We hope the newly established law will help eliminate the number of accidents this year,” Suripno said, adding that it would depend on officers in the field enforcing the regulation.
He said the law also obliged motorcycle drivers to wear helmets that meet the requirements established by the ministry. Such helmets will be marked with a sticker stating they meet the Indonesian National Standard.
According to data from the Transportation Ministry, more than 600 people died in traffic accidents last Idul Fitri, and two out of every three accidents involved motorcycles. Of 2,400 vehicles involved in road accidents during last year’s holiday, 1,600 of them were motorcycles
Some 3.2 million people used motorcycles to return home last year for Idul Fitri, a significant increase from 2.9 million in 2007.