There has been some recent commentary on these Forums concerning traffic stops, including those arising from an apparent violation of Indonesian road laws, and also those at temporary checkpoints set up by traffic/highway police (Polisi Lantas), or regular local police (Polri) to check drivers and vehicles for compliance on the roads.
There is a comprehensive national highway code in Indonesia with compliance and enforcement provisions for all aspects of road use.
Anyone who uses the roads is subject to them, regardless of their nation of normal residency, or any variation with road laws in their own country.
Some comments posted have suggested the local Police only target visiting tourists when policing various compliance aspects of the Indonesian road traffic laws.
Rest assured, the police do go after locals as well, sometimes quite vigorously with road stop campaigns, or ad-hoc checks.
Local road users frequently get penalised for riding without a helmet, not having a licence, and for having no annual tax payment certificate STNK
If anything they probably should be paying some more attention to apprehending visitors who are flaunting road regulations and riding motorbikes illegally, recklessly and with insufficient skill. A good number of visitors act like idiots when driving cars as well.
Absolute astounding stupidity on the roads including disregard of both common-sense and the nations road rules is certainly not the sole domain of Indonesian drivers alone.
Plenty of travel websites advise of the helmet wearing requirement, many foreign government travel advisories also provide this information for their citizens.
There are also often signs placed on the roadsides providing an indication this requirement, and also that to use the motorcycles headlamp is required at all times.
Common sense, not just the road laws dictate that motorcycle users wear a helmet.
Travel insurance policies are likely to be made void in regard to a claim if one is not worn and a person becomes injured.
Policies generally have provisions to exclude claims payment if the driver/rider was not complying with regulations such as licensing and helmet use.
Most renters will provide a helmet, and compliant helmets are available for sale all over the place at quite reasonable prices.
Perhaps in the future the police will just impound the motorcycle and promptly bring the law breaking motorists and bike riders before the courts where a full penalty appropriate to the offences can be applied, and without any chilled Bintang refreshments hospitably being provided to the offender as portrayed in a recent video posted online.
If people wish to ride around without a helmet then they should expect to be stopped.
If after being stopped and either cautioned, or penalised, and they then continue to ride without a helmet they can expect to be stopped again, and to be penalised again.
The clear solution to that problem is to get a helmet and wear it.
A little like the problems with drunken teenagers who get into trouble it should be noted that if they were not flagrantly breaking the law (the minimum drinking age is 21 yo in Indonesia) then they would not be in the compromised position in the first place.
It is factitious to suggest the miscreant visitor is a victim, they are an offender, frequently a multiple offender, and they flagrantly do things in Indonesia that many would not dare to do at home.
Many would not think to ride around on the roads at home without a helmet or a suitable drivers licence (or any at all), yet whilst in Indonesia many seem aghast they may not do this, or just do it without even flinching, then complain when they are fined by the police.
The Law of the Republic of Indonesia, number 22 of 2009, Road Traffic and Transport can be found here... …dephub.go.id/uu/…download and it states:
✭ Drivers licence (SIM) and Surat Tanda Nomor Kendaraan (STNK):
Article 77 (1) Any person driving a motor vehicle upon the road must have a driver's license in accordance the type of motor vehicle being driven.
Penalty* Section 281 Any person driving a motor vehicle on the road that does not possess a drivers license per Article 77 paragraph (1) shall be punished with imprisonment for a maximum of 4 (four) months or fined Rp1,000,000 (one million Rupiah). **(replaces previous penalty of Rp2,000,000 or imprisonment of 2 (two) months Article 59 - (1) of 1969)
Article 106 (5) At the time of any inspection of motor vehicles and drivers upon the road the road user must present: a. Motor Vehicle Certificate Number or Vehicle permit; b. Driver's license; c. evidence tested periodically, and / or d. other valid evidence.
Penalty* Article 288 (1) Any person driving a Motor Vehicle upon the road without the STNK certificate (or a provisional certificate) as defined in Article 106 paragraph (5) letter a shall be punished with imprisonment of 2 (two) months or a fine of Rp500,000 (five hundred thousand dollars).
Penalty* Article 288 (2) Any person driving a motor vehicle upon the road that can not produce a valid driving licence as defined in Article 106 paragraph (5) b. shall be punished with imprisonment of 1 (one) month and/or a fine of Rp250,000, 00 (two hundred and fifty thousand
✭ Seat-belts and Helmets:
Penalty* Section 291 (1) Any person who is not wearing a Motorcycle Helmet suitable to the Indonesia National Standards as referred to in Article 106 paragraph (8), shall be punished with imprisonment for a maximum of 1 (one) month, or a fine of Rp250,000 (two hundred and fifty thousand Rupiah).
Penalty* Section 291 (2) Any person driving Motorcycle who carries a passenger who is not wearing a helmet as referred to in Article 106 paragraph (8) shall be punished with imprisonment for a maximum of 1 (one) month or a fine not exceeding Rp250,000, (two hundred and fifty thousand Rupiah).
Penalty* Section 289 (6) Any person driving a motor vehicle with four or more wheels upon the road and all passengers must comply with seatbelt usage.,shall be punished with imprisonment for a maximum of 1 (one) month or a fine not exceeding Rp250,000, (two hundred and fifty thousand Rupiah). (Elsewhere in the Act it is mandated that persons in a 4 wheel vehicle that lacks a roof must also wear helmets)
✭ Riding with no lights on:
Article 107 (1) The driver of motor vehicles shall turn headlights of motor vehicles used in Streets at night and on certain conditions.
Article 107 (2) Motorcycle driver must turn on headlights during the day.
Penalty* Section 293 (1) Any person driving a motor vehicle on the road without headlights at night per Article 107, or in certain conditions as referred to in paragraph (1) shall be punished with imprisonment 1 (one) month or a fine of Rp250,000, (two hundred and fifty thousand Rupiah).
Penalty* Section 293 (2) Any person riding a Motorcycle on the road without turning on the main lights during the day, as referred to in Article 107 paragraph (2) shall be punished with imprisonment for a maximum of 15 (fifteen) days or pay a fine of Rp100,000, (one hundred thousand Rupiah)
✭ Minimum age:
Minimum age is 17yo, a car or motorcycle may NOT legally be used by someone under that age, even if they have a licence.
Article 82 (2) Terms of age as described in paragraph (1) the minimum specified to hold a driver's license is as follows: a. age of 17 (seventeen) years for Driving Permit A, C
✭ Maximum passengers:
Penalty* Article 292 Any person driving a Motorcycle without a sidecar is prohibited from carrying more than 1 (one) persons referred to in Article 106 paragraph (9) and this shall be punished with imprisonment for a maximum of 1 (one) month or a maximum fine of Rp250,000, (two hundred five hundred thousand Rupiah).
There are provisions for seizure of the vehicle when the driver cannot show a driver's license or STNK. The motorbike or car may be impounded.
✭ Due Care:
There are provisions in the Indonesian road regulation to prosecute people who text and talk on telephones and do other really stupid things.
Article 106 (1) Any person driving a motor vehicle upon the road shall drive a vehicle with reasonable and full concentration.
Article 106 (2) Any person driving a motor vehicle in shall give priority to the road safety of pedestrians and cyclists.
Penalty* Article 283 Any person driving motor vehicles upon the road in an unreasonable manner or who is engaging in activities or influenced by circumstances that resulted in distraction whilst driving upon road as referred to in Article 106 paragraph (1) shall be punished with imprisonment for a maximum of 3 (three) months or fined up to Rp750,000, (seven hundred and fifty thousand Rupiah).
✭ Other offences:
Executing turns without signalling and exercising due care, hogging the right lane, inappropriate overtaking and passing, stopping inappropriately, not signalling turns or change in direction, disobeying signals and stop lines, failing to indicate a hazard; all have provisions for penalty, normally in the range of 1-2 months imprisonment or Rp250,000-500,000.
Penalty* Article 284 Any person driving a motor vehicle yielding to the safety of Pedestrians or cyclists as referred to in Article 106 paragraph (2) shall be punished with imprisonment for a maximum of 2 (two) months or a maximum fine of Rp500,000 (five hundred thousand Rupiah).
Penalty* Article 285 covers matters of roadworthiness like horn, turning signals, exhaust, provision of rear view mirrors and roadworthy tyres. Penalties for breaching these requirements are imprisonment of 1 (one month or a fine of Rp250,000 (two hundred and fifty thousand Rupiah).
Negligent driving causing damage, loss, injury or death is covered in Article 309. Penalties start at 6 months imprisonment or Rp1,000,000 for causing damage to another vehicle, and range up to 5 years and/or Rp10,000,000 for serious injury and 6 years imprisonment and/or Rp12,000,000 for causing a death
There is also a potential fine for not carrying a Passport or appropriate identity document (for a tourist only the Passport is sufficient).
Perhaps this information will assist some people to understand some of the prevailing penalties for breaching the Indonesian road regulations. It is not a free for all, there are regulations and when the Police suggest going before the courts they are suggesting the enforcement of those regulations, they are not just making it up, the regulations are quite real, as are the potential penalties.