Motorcyclists driving on sidewalks are a common sight in Jakarta, but there may be renewed public outrage — or, at least, a renewed law enforcement drive — against them after a viral video highlighted the problem once again.
Yesterday, a video taken over the weekend went viral showing a motorcyclist attacking a pedestrian on a sidewalk in Menteng, Central Jakarta. Based on the narrative that has been going around on social media, the motorcyclist allegedly nearly drove into a small boy before the video began, scaring him and causing him to cry. The boy’s father then took out his camera to record the incident that ensued.
“You know this is a sidewalk?” the father can be heard saying to the motorcyclist as he was mounting his vehicle. His wife then reprimands the motorcyclist, saying, “Of course my kid is running around here. This is a sidewalk!”
The motorcyclist then continues driving and slaps the father’s camera as he passed him. The father then says, “If you’re so brave, let’s get the police involved,” as the motorcyclist drives away — still on the sidewalk.
Well, the police did get involved as the motorcyclist, who is identified by his initials HGT, was arrested at his home in Bekasi, West Java for questioning by the Central Jakarta Police yesterday evening, CNN Indonesia reported.
The man who was attacked by HGT, identified by local media as Hinto, reportedly filed a formal complaint against the motorist for indecent conduct to the police. Under KUHP (Criminal Code), those convicted of that crime may face up to one year in prison.
While in police custody, HGT apologizes for his actions in front of reporters, particularly to Hinto and his family.
Hinto told the media that he may drop his complaint against HGT as he has shown remorse for his actions. However, police say that HGT may still be subject to up to two months in prison or a IDR500K (US$35) fine for driving on the sidewalk.
Viral incidents of motorcyclists driving on sidewalks prompted renewed police crackdown of the traffic violation in recent years. However, authorities’ drive to eradicate the problem tend to be limited to however long it remains a hot button issue, before they move on to the next of many viral traffic law enforcement problems that plague the city.