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Fatal fad: Tragic accident sparks nationwide call to silence Telolet horns

Jakarta Globe - March 22, 2024

Stefani Wijaya and Mita Amalia Hapsari, Jakarta – Following the tragic death of a child due to an accident while chasing the popular "telolet" horn from a Sinar Dempo bus at the Merak Ferry Terminal in Banten, the Traffic Corps of the National Police and the Transportation Ministry are urging buses to refrain from using telolet horns.

"We will conduct an awareness campaign first, conveying our admonition to them not to use it because there have been several victims already," said Raden Slamet Santoso, Director of Traffic Control, at the parliament complex in Jakarta on Thursday.

The Ministry of Transportation has issued a directive calling for all bus operators to stop using telolet horns.

According to Danto Restyawan, the Director of Road Transportation Infrastructure at the Ministry, this recommendation stems from advice provided by the National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT). According to the KNKT, the utilization of telolet horns may result in the depletion of air supply, thereby impacting the efficient operation of vehicle brakes.

The term "telolet" refers to the unique sound made by the horn of Indonesian buses, particularly those used for intercity travel. The characteristic of the sound involves playing music using the bus horn.

The appeal of the telolet horn lies in its catchy sound. Children, in particular, were drawn to the excitement of interacting with bus drivers and hearing the unique horn sound. It became a fun and entertaining activity for them, often involving groups of children gathering by the roadside to catch a glimpse of passing buses and request the telolet horn. This trend was viral in 2016 and has once again surged in popularity recently.

On Monday, a child tragically lost his life after being run over by a bus at the entrance of the Merak Ferry Terminal in Banten. Initially, the child requested the driver to sound the telolet horn. However, the driver failed to realize that the victim was too close to the rear of the bus, resulting in the accident.

According to eyewitnesses, the victim and his friends initially asked the bus to sound the telolet horn as it entered the parking area of the Merak Executive Dock.

However, it is suspected that the victim was too close to the bus, and when the bus was about to turn, the victim was run over by the rear tire of the Sinar Dempo bus, which operates on the Jakarta-Lahat route in South Sumatra.

"The kids asked for the telolet from the front of the bus but got run over by the rear tire. If it was from the front, they would have been safe, but the accident happened from behind. The bus was from Sinar Dempo," said Pendi, an eyewitness, on Monday.

The 10-year-old victim often waited for buses entering the Merak Executive Dock to request drivers to sound the telolet horn. This activity was carried out almost daily by children around the Merak Port.

The victim died at the scene in a distressing condition. The victim's body was immediately taken to the hospital by ambulance for autopsy. To avoid public outrage, the driver and crew of Sinar Dempo were detained by police officers.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/fatal-fad-tragic-accident-sparks-nationwide-call-to-silence-telolet-horn