Bus driver in Yogyakarta kills motorcyclist in collision, admits he wanted to beat the red light

File photo of an individual being handcuffed.
File photo of an individual being handcuffed.

An 18-year-old student from Wonogiri Regency in Central Java died after a Trans Jogja bus that ran a red light hit him at the intersection of Padjadjaran street in Sleman Regency of Yogyakarta on Wednesday last week.

The accident occurred early that morning when the Trans Jogja bus, driven by 23-year-old Arif Himawan Suryadi, moved from the west to the east side of the intersection. As he sped up to beat the red light, the student — identified by his initials AP — steered from the north side to the south at the same time. 

AP died at the scene, and Arif has since been named suspect by Sleman Police. The driver has also been fired by PT Anindya Mitra Internasional (AMI), the company that operates the Trans Jogja bus.

“The reason that was conveyed by the driver was because it was tanggung (an Indonesian word that roughly translates to ‘might as well get it over with’). Based on our questioning, he also admitted that he already saw the red light,” Sleman Police’s Traffic Unit Chief Mega Tetuko said yesterday, as quoted by Kompas.

In Indonesia, drivers often see the yellow light as a sign to beat the red light, instead of to slow down as it’s intended.

After crashing into AP, Arif headed to a police station near the scene, reporting that he had just been involved in an accident. He was proven to be in good health during a medical examination. Tetuko said a further investigation is ongoing, as police have gathered enough evidence to declare Arif a suspect and charged him with vehicular manslaughter, which is punishable by up to 12 years in prison.

PT AMI’s secretariat chief, Rina Yuwana, said her company respected the decision made by the police, while also claiming that all drivers receive a monthly training on traffic regulations. 

Trans Jogja is a bus rapid transit (BRT) system that operates in Yogyakarta, and since the service started operating in 2008, there have been at least three deadly accidents that resulted in the death of motorcyclists.


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