Jakarta. The National Police recorded 598 road accidents from June 19 to 22 as travelers continue to embark upon the annual Idul Fitri exodus to the countryside.
The accidents claimed 105 lives and injured up to 138 people, National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Rikwanto said on Friday (23/06).
"Most victims traveled on two-wheeled vehicles. We have been recommending travelers for years now that two-wheeled vehicles should not be used for mudik," Rikwanto said, referring to the Indonesian word for the annual exodus.
He added that drivers on two-wheeled vehicles, such as motorcycles, can only have a maximum concentration for two hours while driving. Prolonged driving times and imperfect road conditions make them more vulnerable to accidents.
"If it cannot be helped, then those who use motorcycles must pay attention to their rest times. They shouldn’t force it if they are tired," Rikwanto said.
The spokesman also reiterated the police’s suggestion for travelers to always have adequate intakes of food, a full tank of gas and any necessary medicine.
The government is still hopeful that fatalities during this year's mudik will be lower compared to years past.
In the six-day period leading up to Idul Fitri last year, the government recorded 1,289 road accidents that claimed 244 lives. In 2015, 1,622 accidents claimed 328 lives during the annual exodus.
The government has offered free or reduced charge bus fares for those looking to travel back home from major urban centers before Idul Fitri in an attempt to reduce motorcyclists on the road.
The Ministry of Transportation has predicted that 19 million people will participate in this year's mudik, up from 18 million last year. More than 1.7 million will use sea transport to get home this year, while another 5.5 million will take to the skies.