One of the easiest and most common ways to cheat Jakarta’s odd-even rule is to carry two license plates in your car, putting up either one of them depending on if it’s an odd or even numbered date. But that probably won’t fool the traffic police, at least when they’re in full enforcement mode during these first few days of the odd-even rule’s official expansion.
As any Jakarta commuter is well aware of by now, the expansion of the odd-even rule — which only allows vehicles with odd-numbered plates to use certain major roads during rush hours on odd calendar dates and vice-versa — into more of Jakarta’s major roads will be officially enforced starting today following a one month trial in which violators were give a warning. Violators are now subject to a maximum IDR500K (US$34) fine.
The Jakarta Traffic Police seems keen to let motorists know that old tricks aren’t going to fly with the new expansion, posting photos of a couple of cars caught with two license plates (or one with a sticker that turns the number 3 into an 8) on their official Instagram page.
One traffic police officer interviewed on the spot by CNN Indonesia said he caught one driver who tried to pull the license plate swap trick but seemed to have forgotten today’s date.
“He will be fined with multiple violations, because he put up an even numbered plate even though this is an odd numbered date. As such, he put up a license plate that didn’t match his STNK (vehicle registration document),” the officer, Andi F, told CNN Indonesia.
Those caught with multiple plates in an odd-even zone may face fines totalling IDR1 million for two traffic violations.
The odd-even rule was expanded to include more major roads in the capital in a bid to reduce congestion during the upcoming Asian Games.
This map below, from the Jakarta Transportation Agency, details exactly which roads are now covered by the odd-even rule. The light blue lines represent the roads where the odd-even rule was previously enforced, while the red lines represent the new additions and the blue dotted lines represent suggested alternate routes (be warned: they have reportedly been more jammed than usual).
The biggest expansion stretches all the way from Jalan S. Parman in West Jakarta, through Gatot Subroto, M.T. Haryono, D.I. Panjaitan, Jenderal Ahmad Yani up to Cempaka Putih in Central Jakarta, measuring close to 22km.
The other three points of expansion are: South Jakarta’s Jalan Arteri Pondok Indah — Kebayoran Baru, Jalan H.R. Rasuna Said, and Central Jakarta’s Jalan Benyamin Sueb, Kemayoran.
In addition, under the expansion, the odd-even rule is now be enforced for 15 hours every workday, from 6am to 9pm. This is much longer than the 7am-10am and 4pm-8pm rush hour windows prior to the expansion.
The Jakarta Provincial Government has not decided on whether or not the expansion will still apply after the Asian Games concludes on September 2, but there has been talk that they are considering making it permanent beyond the Games. The government claims that the expansion increased traffic speed in the zones by 12% and improved air quality in the city due to an increase in citizens using public transportation.