We’re not saying that traffic violators aren’t bright, but maybe they should realize that traffic laws are designed to prevent chaos on the road, as highlighted in this incident.
Some main roads in Jakarta feature an exclusive lane for TransJakarta city buses called the busway lane. Those lanes feature hip-tall concrete barriers to keep other vehicles out, yet motorcyclists (and, to a lesser extent, car drivers too) continue to sneak into the lane to bypass traffic jams, inconveniencing others, or worse, endangering themselves and other people.
By law, motorists caught driving on the busway lane are subject to a IDR500K (US$36.51) fine. It’s rather mind-boggling then that traffic police still routinely catch violators of the law, but it seems the fine represents an acceptable risk for those desperate to escape the capital’s notorious traffic jams.
Maybe they’ll think twice when they see that the legal way is often the fastest way.
This morning, Jakarta’s Traffic Agency shared a viral photo on Instagram showing a horde of motorcyclists stuck inside a busway lane at an unidentified road in Jakarta. They were unable to move forward as there was a bus stopping to pick up passengers ahead of them.
Meanwhile, the road to their left, which they were supposed to drive on, was practically empty.
The Traffic Agency’s caption for the photo hinted at its helplessness and frustration in trying to discipline the city’s motorists.
“How hard is it to be disciplined and obey the rules? Don’t yearn for a better life in the future if the simple task of being disciplined is so easily ignored. Don’t be surprised if the generations after us will repeat our mistakes,” it wrote.
“To change for the better, we must first change our surroundings. And to change our surroundings, we must first change ourselves.”
Amen, Traffic Agency.
As for the trapped motorcyclists, it’s very likely that they simply continued driving on the busway lane as the bus moved on. Should there be traffic cops waiting for them ahead, we wouldn’t be surprised if they helped each other carry their motorcycles over the barrier to avoid fines.