24October2017

Home Editorial Safe driving to celebrate Idul Fitri Festivity

Safe driving to celebrate Idul Fitri Festivity

For almost one week ahead, Moslems will celebrate Idul Fitri 1438 Hijriah or ‘Lebaran’ as the great day of Islam in Indonesia, the world’s Moslem-majority country. The atmosphere of welcoming Lebaran Day in Indonesia has been felt strongly, ranging from shopping centers that offer various discounts and crowded with buyers to the preparation to return to the hometown or ‘Mudik’.

Mudik is becoming a main tradition of some Moslems Indonesia. The hustle-bustle to prepare for Lebaran in the hometown has been felt since entering Ramadan about four weeks before the Idul Fitri comes. Tickets of buses, trains, ships and airplanes for some destinations have been sold out since long ago. Even, train tickets have been sold out three months before Idul Fitri. The number of Idul Fitri homecomers this year is predicted to increase compared to the previous year. Ministry of Transportation estimates that the number of this year’s Lebaran homecomers will reach at least 19 million people, up by about 8 percent compared to 2016. Last year, 5.3 million of them travelled by motor vehicles. While this year, it is estimated that around 27.83 percent will go home by motor vehicles.

The homecomers going by motor bikes become a serious attention from the government. To provide comfort to them, several steps have been carried out by the government of Indonesia. Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Public Works and Housing, and the Police of the Republic of Indonesia –Polri have coordinated each other to establish transportation facilities and infrastructure in order to create a safe and comfortable homecoming for the community. Preparedness in the field of transportation facilities and infrastructure is one of the aspects emphasized by President Joko Widodo at the Plenary Cabinet Meeting to face Lebaran in Bogor, West Java in late May.

The government also launches a free homecoming program in a bid to reduce the number of motor-bike riders. More attention is paid to those who use a motorcycle, especially when referring to the number of motor vehicle accidents. Based on the traffic police data during the 2016 Lebaran period, 70 percent of the total 2,900 accidents was experienced by motorcycles. Going ‘Mudik’ by riding a motorcycle is not a safe way. Moreover, the journey takes time for a few hours. Going by motorbikes is not recommended to return to hometowns, because it is not designed for long-distance travel, not only in terms of vehicles, but also the physical aspect of the riders.

Unfortunately, some motorcyclists do not seem to care about these dangerous conditions. The moment to meet directly and to ask apology with parents and relatives, which only takes place once a year, becomes a reason for the homecomers to keep riding motorcycles. Another reason is that going by motor bikes is much cheaper than they have to go by other modes of transportation such as bus or plane. The desire to meet with parents and relatives is sometimes greater than all the risks that must be taken. Of course, it would be better for the motor-bike riders to meet their parents or relatives by paying serious attention to the security of travelling. So, they can enjoy more comfortable ‘Lebaran’ in their hometowns.

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