National Police Chief Gen. Tito Karnavian, center, attended the peak of a celebration of the 61st anniversary of the National Police's traffic directorate on Sept. 22 at Jakarta Convention Center in Senayan, South Jakarta. (Photo courtesy of Gelstra)

Jakarta Traffic Police Eye Ticketing, License Reforms

BY :MUHAMAD AL AZHARI

SEPTEMBER 27, 2016

Jakarta. Car and motorcycle drivers in Indonesia may soon be asked to keep licenses in the dashboard of their vehicles with police looking for novel and effective ways to stamp out corruption within the force.

Jakarta Police traffic director Sr. Comr. Syamsul Bahri said police seek to persuade car-makers to create a special drawer in the upper deck of car interiors to keep a driving license. It will then become mandatory for all cars to have a designated place to keep licenses.

"When police officers ask for a driving license, the driver won't get it from their wallet. For too long, the police image has been tainted by extortion because people see the wallet," Syamsul told the Jakarta Globe from the sidelines of an event celebrating the 61st anniversary of the National Police traffic directorate last week.

"People passing by often see the driver open a wallet and think the police are extorting the driver, or the driver is trying to bribe the officer. But where else would you keep your driving license?"

Syamsul said the force is working on a policy which will make it mandatory for drivers to store their licenses in their dashboards. When asked if this would apply to motorcycles too, he said police are trying to find a way to bring in a similar policy.

He did not explain how drivers could ensure their licenses would not be stolen or destroyed in the case of theft or vandalism of the vehicle.

The move will go hand in hand with the police department moving towards e-ticketing, rather than handwritten tickets, for those who violate traffic laws.

"We are aiming for electronic ticketing by 2017. But we need to be assured the electronic ID [known as e-KTP] program works first, as it will be the basis for e-ticketing," Syamsul said.

E-KTP is expected to connect data between police departments and courts. Currently, Syamsul said, the police is improving its database system, so violations can be addressed before car registrations are approved. Still, unlike in many other countries, fines still cannot be sent directly to a driver's home.

In many cases, vehicle owners sometimes borrow the identity from the previous car owners to reduce the cost of taxes or administrative fees to change registration details and ownership. Others are registered as living at an address different to where they actually live.

Syamsul did not confirm Jakarta would be a pilot project for such a program, but said the planned changes are aimed at altering public perception of the police, especially traffic officers.

Accident data

At this year's anniversary of the National Police's traffic directorate, Jakarta police held a series of events from Aug. 10, beginning with the release of a comic book series about road safety, seminars for road safety aimed at children and families and a seminar on road safety for ride hailing application drivers (such as Uber or Grab) heading to concerts and live music events.

Syamsul said road safety awareness is a key campaign for the Jakarta police, with data showing an average 18 accidents a day this year.

"We want to make the anniversary of the traffic directorate a momentum to build up awareness about road safety in the roads," he said.

The peak event was held Sept. 22 at the Jakarta Convention Center in Senayan, South Jakarta, where the National Police Chief Gen. Tito Karnavian gave a keynote address.

During the event, Tito reminded the force to be professional, modern and trusted, abbreviated in Indonesian to "Prometer" and acts as motto for the newly-installed head.

Meanwhile, the National Police's traffic director Agung Budi Maryoto said the force must impose strict punishment on traffic officers who violate regulations.

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Traffic Police