Footing the Bill: Jakarta Jaywalkers Face Rp 250,000 fines

The Jakarta Globe

For the next two weeks, pedestrians in Jakarta may face a hefty fine for jaywalking in the city streets as part of a new operation the Jakarta Metro Police and traffic comptroller kick-started on Monday. 

Police said that “Operasi Patuh Jaya,” which rigidly enforces street regulations and bylaws on all motorized vehicles and pedestrians, will run until July 24. Walkers must use designated sections of the streets for walking — zebra crossings, sidewalks and crossing bridges — or they face fines up to Rp 250,000 ($29). 

Udar Pristono, head of the Jakarta Transportation Office, said the city had already enacted several bylaws regulating pedestrians but admitted that they are rarely enforced. 

“Through this operation, we want to teach pedestrians to cross the street at designated areas,” he said at the city hall.  “Jaywalking is dangerous and endangers not only the walkers but also motorists who, in theory, are driving according to the rules and regulations.” 

Pristono said that 300 officials from the office will assist police in monitoring pedestrians on major streets.  

“Our focus is to prevent jaywalking in the first place,” he said. “If the pedestrians refuse to comply, then strict sanctions will be imposed.” Mia Amalia, a 37-year-old writer, said the government needs to improve facilities for pedestrians before imposing such regulations. 

“Basically, I will support the government action to fine whoever violates the law, but the government really must improve the facilities before urging us to use them,” she said. 

Nidya Gustianingsih also expressed similar concerns. 

“As we all can see, the pedestrian facilities are very poorly maintained,” the 29-year-old housewife said. “The bridge is rusty and it makes me worry every time I have to use it. I often think to myself, what if the bridge collapses and I fall down?  

“There are many pickpockets [on pedestrian bridges]. Instead of disciplining us, the government needs to provide us proper facilities and security.” 

Separately, Sr. Comr. Royke Lumowa, the Jakarta Police’s traffic chief, said the operation aims to deter people from violating traffic regulations and bylaws.  

More than 4,000 officers from Jakarta police headquarters and five precincts will enforce the operation with emphasis on preventative measures and verbal warnings to traffic violators.

Meanwhile, some Jakarta residents no longer have to take alternate routes to Jalan Satrio in Kuningan. The access from Jalan Sudirman, which has been closed for three months, was reopened by the Jakarta Public Works Office on Monday. Satrio, a heavily-trafficked road even by Jakarta’s standards, is cleared for use now that drilling for the Kampung Melayu-Tanah Abang flyover has been completed. 

“Thankfully, we have completed our target for three drilling jobs,” Novizal, vice director of the Jakarta Public Works Office, said on Sunday. 

“Tomorrow at approximately six in the morning, the street will be open again.” 

He added that the Public Works Office was putting the finishing touches on and cleaning up the drilling locations. New road traffic signs have also been installed. 

“All the heavier objects have been moved. Possibly by one in the morning, the street will be all cleaned up,” he said. 

Northbound access to Satrio from Jalan Rasuna Said will still be blocked, however. Novizal said work on that stretch of road was about 60 percent complete, and that it would reopen on July 21.  

The Kampung Melayu-Tanah Abang and Antasari-Blok M flyovers are part of a city government plan to ease congestion on Jakarta’s crammed roadways. They are slated for completion in 2012.

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