Driver discipline and road safety is obviously a big problem in Indonesia, but just how bad is it? According to National Traffic Police Chief Royke Lumowa, road accidents are a serious epidemic that kills tens of thousands each year.
Based on data from the Traffic Police Corps, Royke said the death toll from traffic accidents reached about 30,000 thousand per year. That number, he added, is far greater than the combined number of deaths due to crime or acts of terrorism.
“Think of the approximately 28,000 to 30,000 people who die on the road per year because of accidents. Compared to terrorism and crime (the difference) is huge,” Royke said at the sidelines of the ASEAN Traffic Police Forum at Hotel Borobudur in Central Jakarta today as quoted by Detik.
Royke said the issue of traffic accidents didn’t often get major attention in Indonesia because they happened regularly but generally with a low number of casualties per incident. But put together, the number is staggering.
The national traffic police chief said that high-speed impacts were the main factor in fatal traffic accidents, and said that police needed to focus on better-enforcing traffic rules, especially speed limits.
Royke said Indonesia had a long way to be compared to countries like Singapore, which have low traffic fatality rates and are able to regulate traffic largely through the use of technology like speed cameras and electronic toll gates.
Indeed, based on 2013 data from the World Health Organization, Singapore had an accident rate of 3.6 people per 100,000, whereas Indonesia’s rate based on the new police figure would be about 11.5.
But at least Indonesia’s overall traffic fatality rate has dropped somewhat since that same 2013 WHO data showed that there were about 38,000 fatal accidents that year.