Bring your own helmet: Indonesia’s motorcycle taxi association prepares new protocols ahead of ‘new normal’

Photo: File
Photo: File

With the next phase of life with COVID-19, or the so-called “new normal,” looks set to become our new reality here in Indonesia, a major union group for drivers of app-based motorcycle taxis (known locally as ojek online or ojol for short) said they have prepared their own set of preventative measures, which will most notably call on passengers to bring their own helmets.

The Association for the Two-Wheeled Action Movement (Garda) said they have published their own set of health protocols in March, which includes a point on passengers carrying their own helmets. 

“Since March, we have issued Garda Indonesia’s version of health protocols. One of them, since March 14, we have asked and suggested that ojol passengers bring their own helmet,” Garda chairman Igun Wicaksono, said in a statement today.

That said, the helmet policy has effectively been moot since ojol drivers have been prohibited from transporting passengers during the Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB) period.

According to Igun, there will be a one-month period to raise awareness about the helmet policy, during which time ojol drivers can still provide passengers with helmets. 

He further noted that Garda has called on ojol drivers to maintain their personal hygiene, which includes bringing their own hand soap or sanitizer, wearing face mask and clean gloves when driving, routinely washing their uniforms with detergent or disinfectant liquid, as well as avoiding direct physical contact with passengers and fellow drivers. 

Jakarta is in its third phase of Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB), which will end next Thursday. Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan recently said that the city’s administration has yet to decide on whether to end or continue PSBB, saying that this last week of the protocol is “decisive” in determining whether it should be extended.

Meanwhile, President Joko Widodo has urged the public to prepare for the “new normal” phase, referring to a return to normal life while implementing health protocols in order to curb the spread of COVID-19. The policy has been widely criticized by experts and politicians alike, as there are different measures taken by regional governments across the country and that the number of cases has not shown any significant signs of declining anytime soon.


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