Saturday, October 3, 2009

Just a private observation in Bandung.

On my recent trip to Bandung I observed certain order of traffic movement made by Indonesian drivers over there. This is not an official but just a private observation made when riding on a small van (Kijang) driven by an Indonesian hired driver. The Indonesian in Bandung drive on the left.

The traffic flow in Bandung was not as heavy as that of Kuala Lumpur, maybe its because of their way of driving or maybe because of the traffic system. I did not observe any roundabout ( I may be corrected in that observation) but I observed triangles where drivers take to turning right using the near side of the triangle or turning left following that side of the triangle. There is a certain ‘give way’ attitude to smoothen the traffic flow. And I observed that those Indonesian drivers were not as aggressive as Malaysian drivers and they do have the sense of ‘give way’.

I observed that if a river wanted to overtake in a heavy traffic, he gave a slight horn and the front driver understood the signal and would let the back driver passed. Even if the back driver wanted to overtake a motorcyclist, he horned to warn the motorcyclist and the motorcyclist would gave away. With such attitude, driving seemed cool, and non-aggressive driving was almost non-existence.

Somehow I did not see many Policemen on the street of Bandung. But I saw on a few occasions where a Traffic Policeman controlling the traffic, and this happened when it was a peak period such as the evening and the morning ‘rush’ hours. But those Indonesian drivers were ‘rushing’ with great patient.

And parking areas are marked on the street (and I do not really know whether the Bandung ‘Town Council’ charged for parking), and private parking areas are charged a certain rate (RP 20,000 per entry I think it was) or a certain tip (expected) to those employed to look after traffic movements in those areas. These ‘employed’ people are very efficient in getting you a parking space (at a fee of course) and very efficient in getting you out of a parking space in such heavy traffic situations. They used whistles to warm of on coming drivers about their ‘client’ wanting to get out of their parking areas. (No Policemen helped). This to me was a very efficient arrangement as it reduced the time for anyone trying to get out of the parking area as well as increasing safety to back out or to move out of a parking area. (I remember that in Thailand they have similar arrangement). These people were probably employed by the building or the business owner (of the building concerned).

And of motorcyclist, they may not follow 100% the rules of crash helmets or the rules of riding a motorbike of more than 2 to a motorbike, but they seemed to be careful lot with no waving among the car traffic, at least the majority of them. And motorcycles speeding? Did not see them in town or on the outskirts of town.

I thought that the traffic arrangement in Bandung was quite efficient. Is that the situation over the whole of Indonesia?

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