Bayu Marhaenjati, Jakarta – This year's mudik road rush saw far fewer road accidents than in previous years, thanks to improved awareness of road safety and beefed up preventive measures from the authorities.
Data from the Traffic Police (Kakorlantas) showed only 446 road accidents across Indonesia in the six days leading to Idul Fitri, from May 29 to June 6. The number is 62 percent lower than the 1,178 accidents recorded last year.
"This is the result of better cooperation between travelers and the government. People are now more aware of road safety. We also have more preventive measures in place, such as ramp checks [for buses]," Eddy Gunawan, the head of a Lebaran task force at the Ministry of Transportation, said on Friday.
The mudik death toll was 105, down 59 percent from 254 last year. 76 people were seriously injured, far fewer than 272 last year. 515 travelers suffered minor injuries, down 67 percent from 1,567 last year.
It was estimated that 33 million people took part in the mudik exodus this year. Around a third of them made the long trip in private cars or on motorcycles.
Close to half of that number were travelers making their way out of Greater Jakarta to their hometown in Java and other islands, according to the Transportation Ministry.
The government implemented more measures to smooth out the mudik exodus this year. It declared a week-long public holiday between June 3 and 7 to allow travelers to spread out their travel plans and minimize traffic jams.
104 state-owned enterprises also arranged free trips to 80 cities across Indonesia for more than 250,000 mudik travelers.
The 1,167 kilometer-long Trans Java toll road is also fully operational this year, providing an uninterrupted link of highways in the country's most densely populated island, where mudik is most common.