Talking about the characteristics of the Indonesian people, perhaps, you don’t have to read many books or literature. You just need to drive on the roads/streets and see it. There is driving/riding habit that can always be found everywhere in this country as long as there is a railroad crossing.
In this country, railroads often cut the road or streets on a point. As a result, there are many meeting points between them in many cities.
Road users, based on the rule, are always asked to give priority to train and wait before the crossbar of railroad crossing. The crossbar itself is usually made of wood and guarded by a gate keeper in each crossing. When a train will make a pass, the crossbar will be pulled down to stop other road users, when the train have passed, the bar is pulled up, in some places it is done manually.
Indonesia’s laws rule that every violator of this must face a punishment in form of Rp. 750.000.- fine or maximum three months behind bars.
Law is a law but it doesn’t always represent the reality.
In reality, majority of road users, especially motorcyclists, never pay attention to this regulation. It is reflected on what they usually do when making a pass through railroad crossing.
What they is to ride their vehicle in front of the railroad crossbar. If the bar has been pulled down, they will try to sneak or find any other way to be in front of vehicle queue. It doesn’t matter for them if it means the distance between them and the train is only 1 meter and put themselves in danger, they will position their motorbikes in the place, as long as they are in the foremost
They act as if they were in moto-racing track and like racer waiting for the start flag to be waved.
If the road is two lane one, like bees, the motorcyclist will occupy both and never give any slight thought what they do will block vehicle flow from the other direction.
Victims of this reckless and stupid attitude have fallen in quite a number every year but it seems the news come to deaf ears. Hundreds die every year due to this habit but the horrible facts don’t mean anything as the habit continues.
This habit has been started years ago and it still continues, so it is safe to say that this one characteristic of Indonesians, at least when they are near railroad crossing.
Do you want to give a try to be within only 1 meter from tens of tons of iron on the move? I believe Indonesia is a right place to visit.