First time to Indonesia? If yes, then it can be expected that you will be shocked with what you would see during in Indonesia. The possible cause of your shock may not come from the beauty of Indonesia landscape. Nor, it will be by the amazing traditional dance in Bali. One thing that will surely will startle in disgusting mode is about reckless actions Indonesia motorcyclists do on streets.
Well. You should not be surprised with this situation.Even, you should expect to see by yourselves the actions.
Indonesia has recorded itself as one of the countries that have large number of motorcycle ownership. In 2015, based on statistic, there are more than 80 million motorized two wheeler vehicles in this country. This means, with a population of approximately 250 million people, the ratio of motorbike ownership in Indonesia is 3.1 : 1, one motorcycle for every 3.1 persons.
Really high number.
The number increases rapidly every year. More than 6 million motorbikes are sold every year. With no limitation of allowed age of the vehicle, the population will surely raise annually.
Unfortunately, the rapid growth in number is not accompanied with more mature attitude of motorcycle owners when they ride on streets. They are getting careless, ignorant, and selfish.
During Patuh Jaya raid conducted by Jakarta Police in May 2016, within two weeks, it was recorded more than 77.800 traffic violation done by motorcyclists.This is all violation in Jakarta city only and not including other cities.
This should show how poor the discipline of Indonesia motorcyclists. So poor.
Therefore, like or not, while you are here, I am quite sure that you will see reckless actions Indonesia motorcyclists do. Even if you only stay for one night or two, especially in big cities like Jakarta. It doesn’t mean you can not meet the same in smaller cities.
What kind of careless, and annoying actions that Indonesia motorbike riders usually do, you can read on the below.
8 Reckless Actions Indonesia Motorcyclists Do (everyday!)
I will summarize what reckless actions Indonesia motorcyclists do everyday based on what I see in daily life. It is so often that even I could even take some pictures while they were on action.
1. Under Age Riders
Law says that the minimum age to obtain a riding license in Indonesia is 17 years. However, in reality you can see under age riders almost everywhere. You may even find elementary students speeding on motorbikes, almost everywhere.
This has become a phenomenon in Indonesia because the number of undr age rides seem to raise in parallel with the increase of motorbike numbers. Indonesia parents seem to become lazier and careless year by year. Also, parents look to be proud if their under age children has been able to ride a motorcycle at their early age.
2. Not using helmet
This has become quite a habit. Helmet is not considered to be obligatory for motorcycle riding. The law has clearly mentioned that using a helmet, for a rider or a pillion. Even, under the same law, it’s been stated the standard of helmet to be used.
Unfortunately, it seems many of Indonesia motorcycle users have their own opinion. The ohelmet is considered as an accessories only, not compulsory.
3. Traffic Light Disobedience
Traffic light is one package of standardized symbols applied all over the world. Not only in Indonesia. Green means “you can go”. Yellow is “slow down your vehicle”. Red is “stop”. So simple.
However, not in Indonesia. Many motorcyclists have their own concept of traffic light. Yellow is interpreted as “hit the gas, there is still a chance”. Red means “I don’t see it”. Green “this is my turn”.
Don’t expect to see vehicles stop behind the white line. The interpretation is there is no line, someone stupid has painted something useless here.
4. Smoking while riding
Indonesia has also high population of smokers. Unfortunately, many of the smokers also own motorcycles, then those two facts create a new habit, smoking while riding.
It is not seldom to see a rider with one hand on his/her vehicle’s handlebar and the other hand on his mouth holds a cigarette. Smoke comes out from his mouth.
When the cigarette is finished, he will throw the cigarette butt while it is still burning anywhere. Don’t expect them to care that the burning cigarette butt can hurt someone.
5. Riding On Pavement/Sidewalk
Pavement or sidewalk is a place where pedestrians can walk. Again, this is a common sense and what laws of all countries around the world say. Not only in Indonesia.
Again, unfortunately, this concept seems to be different from what riders in Indonesia have. A pavement or sidewalk is understood to be “the best place to avoid traffic”.
They often to run on sidewalks without feeling guilty. They will get angry if there are pedestrians in front of them and consider them to block their way. You should not be surprised to hear them honking at you in Jakarta, or any other cities.
This has been a major concern and sometime there are brave pedestrians fight them back as shown in this link. The video is quite funny also because the angry pedestrian is a boy.
6. Contra Flow Riding
One way street means that the traffic flow must go only to one direction. However, lacy motorcyclists do not agree with this interpretation. This mean “it is not the efficient way and stupid to be followed. There is no one way street or road”.
Contra flow riding is one of the most reckless actions Indonesia motorcyclists do everyday. Their action has caused a lot of accidents with fatality. Sigh, unfortunately, until now, it has been considered as common, everywhere.
7. Riding in a zig zag
Jakarta traffic is overcrowded. Definitely. Almost everybody knows, even foreigners. One of things that make it worse is the attitude of motorcyclists.
Even in a crowded street, they tend to exploit their small size two wheeler to find gaps between cars and/or other motorbikes. It is a common thing to see motorcyclists swing from right to left, left to right, and back to move to left again. Riding in zig zag.
This bad habit has caused many unrecorded minor accident between cars and motorbikes.
A motorcycle is designed to carry only one rider and one pillion. Not more. However, probably due to efficiency, this vehicle is often loaded by more than two persons. Three is quite common but it’s not seldom also 4 persons on one motorbike.
Or, the vehicle is loaded with very heavy cargo.
Those are all reckless actions Indonesia motorcyclists do. It is likely that you may find a combination of some recklessness on one moment.
Please do not be surprised. I have told you in this article.