The Indonesian police are releasing information collected during “Operasi Ketupat” – a nationwide traffic and public safety campaign conducted over the Lebaran Holidays.
The State News Agency Antara reports that the National Police Chief General Sutarman counted 3,057 accidents taking place between July 22 and August 6, 2014 - during the annual homecoming process and return.
Sutarman told the press that the number of traffic accidents over the Lebaran period declined by 618 or about 17%, when compared to 2013 when there were 3,675 accidents recorded.
Police estimate some 4.43 million motorcycles took to Indonesia’s highway to travel substantial distances during the Lebaran exodus. This figure is calculated to be lower that the 5.54 million motorcycles that took to the roads during the same period in 2013.
Police cite the lower use of motorcycles as the reason for the lower total of road accidents during “Operasi Ketupat 2014.” Correspondingly, the number of road fatalities and injuries also declined in 2014.
Despite the downturn in accident, Sutarman still views 3,057 accidents counted during "Operasi Ketupat " as excessively high and called for greater efforts to reduce that total in 2015.
Sutarman said accidents could be reduced if modes of intermodality could be achieved in which motorcycles are transported by truck or train to and from Lebaran destinations as a means of reducing the number of cyclists on the road.
The Indonesian police chief reported that the route recording the most number of accidents during the Lebaran holiday period was along the north coast of Java where 232 accidents were recorded.
Police say most accidents recorded over the holidays were due to human error, including sleepiness and fatigue.
In conclusion, Sutarman said that despite any shortcomings, this year’s Lebaran exodus was safer on the roads than the year before.
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