Mourning amid merriment: Can Indonesia put the brakes on fatal accidents during end-Ramadan travel rush?

MULTITUDE OF FACTORS

Indonesian police have listed reckless driving, bad weather and fatigue as causes for these accidents. However, experts point out that poorly maintained roads, a lack of resting facilities, inadequate mass transportation services and lax enforcement of traffic laws are also to blame.

In the crash which killed the sisters Najwa and Aisya, the minivan was not licensed to transport people for money and was supposed to carry a maximum of nine people instead of 12.

The driver, police discovered, had been transporting passengers to and from Jakarta for four days with little rest and had fallen asleep at the wheel. He was killed in the accident.

Similarly on Apr 11, a bus carrying 32 passengers veered off the road and slammed into a ditch near the town of Batang, Central Java when the driver briefly dozed off. Eight passengers were killed in the accident and the bus driver has been arrested.

National legislation requires every long-distance bus to have at least two drivers, each taking the wheel for a maximum of four hours at a time.

“But authorities rarely conduct checks to see if bus operators and their drivers meet this requirement,” Mr Darmaningtyas, chairman of the think-tank Transportation Study Institute (INSTRAN), told CNA.

Mr Djoko Setijowarno, a transportation expert from Central Java’s Soegijapranata University said the government also needs to build more resting facilities.

“There must be rest areas every few kilometres on toll roads and inter-city roads. Every terminal and tourist destination must also equip themselves with a lounge where drivers can rest and sleep. And there should be officials who make sure that they make the most out of these facilities,” he told CNA.

SOURCE: CNA (Channelnewsasia.com) RSS Latest News   (go to source)
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