Indonesian cops have gotten a lot of stick (justifiably so, in many recent cases), but it’s hard not to side with a traffic officer who received the finger from a motorcyclist just because he was doing his job.
A video taken at an intersection in Pasar Rebo, East Jakarta yesterday morning shows interaction between a female motorcyclist and a traffic policeman. It appeared that the cop stopped the motorist and ordered her to wear her helmet. After she complied, she flipped the bird at the cop as soon as he turned his back on her.
The clip, likely dashcam footage taken by a third party, has gone viral in the country, attracting widespread scorn towards the motorcyclist.
Speaking to local media outlets afterwards, the cop, identified as Pasar Rebo Precinct’s Traffic Unit Head Gede Oka Sukamto, said he was unaware about the gesture at the time but noted that the motorcyclist had a disobedient streak about her.
“I told her there was an accident [on a road ahead]. I implored her to wear her helmet. The woman then reluctantly put it on and said, ‘I’ll put this on now in front of you, but I’ll take it off again later,’” Oka said.
The officer said the woman was not wearing a helmet because it was a hot day.
If anything, she should count herself lucky she was not fined by Oka. Under Indonesian traffic law, motorcyclists who ride without a helmet are subject to an IDR250K (US$17.44) fine.
The Jakarta Metro Police says it regrets the woman’s rude gesture towards someone looking out for her safety. While the police have her identity, they say they have no plans to take the matter further, but we wouldn’t be surprised if they summon her to record a public apology for setting a bad example.