After canceling the controversial plan to fine motorists listening to music or smoking while driving, the Jakarta Police’s traffic division chief Sr. Comr. Halim Pagarra said on Sunday the police would instead crack down on drivers using their cell phones.
Halim said the practise violated Article 106 of the Traffic Law, which says anyone driving a motorized vehicle must do so with full care and concentration.
He said, as quoted by kompas.com, that enforcement would apply to online ojek (motorcycle taxi) drivers who often use cell phones while driving to check their maps.
Halim’s subordinate, Adj. Sr. Comr. Budiyanto said last week that a survey showed listening to music and smoking a cigarette could break concentration and said the Jakarta Police would start disseminating information about fining those listening to music. His statement caused uproar among the many motorists who listen to the radio and music while driving.
The following day, the National Police’s director of law enforcement at the Traffic Corps, Brig. Gen. Pujiono Dulrahman, said as quoted by kompas.com that listening to the music and smoking while driving were allowed.
“Our interpretation of [Article 106] includes being tired, sick, sleepy, using cellphones or watching TV while driving,” he said.
Jakarta Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Argo Yuwono reiterated Pujiono’s statement, saying they had no plans to fine those listening to music or smoking. “The wrong thing to do is smoking and throwing lit cigarettes at other drivers,” he said. (evi)