It appears that it takes a viral video for road laws to apply equally to all Indonesians, after sanctions are finally being handed out for a clear traffic violation involving a ministry vehicle.
A video taken on Saturday in Ragunan, South Jakarta showed a black Toyota Fortuner with a ministerial license plate queueing behind a TransJakarta bus on the busway lane, presumably to avoid traffic congestion on the regular lane.
Busway lanes are exclusive to TransJakarta buses and emergency vehicles. The Fortuner was neither.
The video went viral in the past couple of days, with people especially outraged that a traffic police officer did not stop the Fortuner and fine the driver at the busway lane exit. Ordinarily, drivers who violate the busway lane rule are subject to a fine of IDR500K (US$33.95).
Police then acted and pursued the driver. On Wednesday afternoon, the Jakarta Metro Police Traffic Directorate announced that they have identified the driver as an employee at an unspecified ministry. The car was privately owned.
"In his statement to us, he said was aware that he was violating traffic laws. But at the time he was in a rush to take a family member to hospital," Jakarta Metro Police Traffic Director Sambodo Purnomo Yogo said.
Police slapped the driver with the fine and revoked his ministerial license plate, thereby relinquishing any road privileges he felt he was entitled to.
As for the officer who let the Fortuner go without even a slap on the wrist, Sambodo said he has been given a written warning and may face further sanctions upon a disciplinary inquiry.