It’s totally illegal, but motorcycles being driven on sidewalks to escape Jakarta’s notorious traffic jams is so annoyingly common that some motorcyclists apparently feel they are entitled to do so and are willing to assault anyone who says otherwise.
Yesterday, Koalisi Pejalan Kaki (Coalition of Pedestrians), a group who have long campaigned for pedestrians’ rights in Indonesia, posted a video on Youtube showing a motorcyclist attacking one of their members on Jalan Raya Jatiwaringin, East Jakarta.
With the adjacent road absolutely congested, several motorcyclists can be seen driving on the sidewalk. The person taking the video starts reminding the motorcyclists that sidewalks are for pedestrians, not motorcycles, while filming using his phone.
Nobody paid the pedestrian much attention until, around 20 seconds into the video, one motorcyclists (who appears to be an online motorcycle taxi, considering she was transporting a passenger wearing a green helmet), stopped in front of the pedestrian took great offense at what he was doing.
“If you want to reprimand somebody do it with respect, do it politely. ‘Ma’am, this is wrong,’ like that. Not like you coming up to me and yelling at me,” the motorcyclist said to the pedestrian. She also asked the pedestrian what right he has to be telling people off, to which he said he was just a pedestrian and that her riding her motorcycle on the sidewalk was illegal.
The motorcyclist then seemingly continued driving up the sidewalk, only to immediately stop and get off her motorcycle. She then walked up the pedestrian, hitting him several times with her helmet even after he reminded her that he was filming the whole time.
Though neither the motorcyclist nor the pedestrian’s were identified by Koalisi Pejalan Kaki, they said that their member who took the video sustained several injuries from the assault.
Last year, Koalisi Pejalan Kaki received similarly hostile treatment from motorcyclists when they set up human barricades on sidewalks to prevent motorcycles from driving on them. A video of motorcyclists trying to physically attack the group’s members became viral and prompted a month-long “operation” by traffic police to clamp down on the violation. But, as we’ve seen and experienced in Jakarta since then, a lack of enforcement and an unwillingness for motorcyclists to change their attitudes means motorcycles on sidewalks remain a problem to this day.
Under Jakarta’s regional laws, motorcyclists driving on sidewalks may be punished with one-month imprisonment or a IDR250,000 fine (US$17.32).
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