JAKARTA — Twelve people have died during a massive three-day traffic jam in Indonesia that stretched more than 20 kilometres and brought thousands of holidaymakers to a complete standstill, an official says.
Roads across the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country are choked every year at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, as millions head to villages to celebrate Eid, which fell on Wednesday.
The horror traffic at a major highway junction at Brebes, a city on the main island of Java, was so bad that Indonesians dubbed the disastrous toll gate “Brexit”, from the words “Brebes exit”.
But the chaos at the “Brexit” junction this year was particularly acute in the three days before Eid, as tens of thousands of cars crammed the arterial highway, transport ministry spokesman Hemi Pramuraharjo said.
“In terms of this Brexit case, there’s been a total of 12 victims over different days,” he said.
Mr Pramuraharjo said several of the victims were elderly while others died from fatigue and other health complications.
Local media reported that a one-year-old suffering from fume poisoning was also among the deceased.
More than 400 motorists had died on Indonesia’s roads so far this holiday season, including those in the “Brexit” jam, Mr Pramuraharjo said.
Accidents are not uncommon during the holiday odysseys, particularly on the potholed roads of overcrowded Java, home to more than half of Indonesia’s 255 million people.
Aerial shots captured a sea of motionless vehicles, with some drivers seeking respite on the roadside.
Mr Pramuraharjo said roadside vendors and crowded markets near the junction compounded the chaos, leading to traffic snarls “more than 20 kilometres” in length.
“There is a bottleneck there, where there’s a petrol station very nearby and many people queue,” he said.
“There’s no space on the road. We don’t have a solution.”
Responding to the controversy, the health ministry urged motorists planning a long journey to rest and take all necessary precautions.
The ministry’s Achmad Yurianto said in a statement the heavy use of air conditioning could also lead to an increase in carbon dioxide within the cramped confines of the car.
Over 20,000 drivers taken action through CCTV monitoring
KATHMANDU— The Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD) has effectively launched monitoring of vehicles plying on the road through close circuit (CC) camera in Kathmandu valley.
Traffic Police are keeping a close watch on drivers to check whether they are following the traffic rules or not.
A total of 20,024 drivers of various vehicles faced action based on such monitoring. The police begun this bid since 2073 BS and it has become effective so far, said SSP Basanta Panta of the Traffic Division.
Most of the cases were related to violation of the traffic lane and driving on ‘one way’ roads, he added.
The police are monitoring the traffic activities through 460 close circuit cameras installed at the Division Office, Ranipokhari.Follow @gorkhapost