Saturday, August 18, 2012

283 killed in traffic accidents during Indonesia's Lebaran exodus

The National Police have disclosed that at least 283 people have been killed in 1,602 traffic accidents during the current exodus across Indonesia in the period between Aug. 11 to Aug. 15, 2012.

Aside from causing fatalities, the large number of traffic accidents had also caused material losses estimated at 4.5 billion rupiah (US$472,500), according to the police.

Hundreds of thousands of travellers leave big cities annually to celebrate Lebaran or Idul Fitri, the end of Muslim's Ramadan fasting month, with family members and relatives in their hometowns.

"On Aug. 15 alone, 337 traffic accidents took place, resulting in the deaths of 66 people," National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Anang Iskandar said, as quoted by

From the accidents recorded that day, 116 people were severely injured and 305 others suffered minor injuries, he said, adding that material losses on that day were estimated at 1.02 billion rupiah.

The largest number of traffic accidents on Aug. 15 took place in Central Java, with 81 accidents in which nine people were killed, 16 severely injured and 103 others sustaining minor injuries.

In East Java, there were 66 accidents where 11 people were killed, four severely injured and 63 sustaining minor injuries.

Accidents were also registered in West Java, Jakarta and South Sulawesi, with 28, 22 and 11 cases respectively.

"The largest number of accidents involved motorcyclists," Iskandar said.

Meanwhile, thousands of travellers have been forced to stay overnight on Wednesday at Bakauheni ferry port in South Lampung regency, before continuing their journeys on Thursday morning.

"Since Wednesday evening, we have seen thousands of Sumatra-bound travellers from Java island staying overnight at Bakauheni port," South Lampung Police spokesman Adj. Sr. Comr. Tatar Nugroho said.

When asked why the travellers had to stay overnight when there were adequate transportation and security arrangements along the route, Nugroho explained that they became tired after a long journey and therefore needed to rest.

Meanwhile in Cirebon, at least 3,000 pedicab drivers, who had been banned from operating in a number of traditional markets along Java's northern coast route, got compensation amounting to 50,000 rupiah each from the Cirebon regency administration.

"We distributed the money on Thursday and Friday [yesterday]," Cirebon Regent Dedi Supardi said, adding that the ban was intended to help avoid them from obstructing the flow of thousands of passengers during the exodus.-Asia News Network (August 18, 2012)

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