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Eid road deaths up from last year

Police say more than 680 people died in traffic accidents during holiday travel

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta

August 24, 2012

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Some 686 people died during the Eid ul-Fitr holiday rush this month, a rise of more than 10 percent on the number of fatalities seen last year, police said yesterday. During the travel period from August 11 until the 21st after the end of Ramadan, there were more than 3,900 traffic accidents across the archipelago, said National Police Spokesman Brig-Gen Boy Rafli Amar. More than 4,800 people were injured as a result, data showed. As ever, motorcyclists bore the brunt of casualties, accounting for more than 75 percent of deaths, while nearly 70 percent of all such incidents involved at least one person on two wheels. “The main cause is human error,” said Amar, adding that jumping red lights and speeding led to the bulk of accidents. Police data showed 3.3 million motorcycles were in use across Indonesia during the 10-day holiday travel period, a 12 percent increase on last year. While police have pointed to the prevalence of motorbikes and human error as the main cause of accidents, Bambang Haryo from the Indonesian Transport Society said the poor state of the country’s roads was also a major factor. “There are still many dilapidated roads,” he said. “Bad lighting along roads is another issue.” A lack of affordable, cheap public transport was another reason why so many chose to travel by motorcycle, he added.
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