Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Traffic and Money

I have been a little bit behind with my RSS reading. Well, 4045 new posts from 209 feeds are certainly something. Then I found this, and honestly, my thought was: I never really thought of it that way.

"You didn't crash into other people's car, you didn't do drunk driving, you didn't cause any harm to anybody. You made a turn at a wrong time. It's an honest mistake.

Imagine how many people will have to push the papers because of this. .... All this people, pushing papers."

I've had a couple of run-ins with the police officers. the first time was first year high school: I don't have a license to ride a motorcycle, I stopped at the wrong stop, the officers signalled me to follow them. 

I ended up paying more than 150K IDR on the spot, and I was the laugh of the family for at least a week. Bear in mind, I was naive and scared. Just wanted it to finished. However, I did remember vividly that the officer puts the money inside his cigarette package. I don't suppose the government ever see a dime of it. Ever.

So I learned, and when 2 years after that, I found myself in a similar situation, I prefer to go to the court. I didn't mind, I had reason to skip class. More than happy to oblige. As it turns out, there wasn't so many people at Pengadilan Klaten, and all I had to do was waited until ticket was given to a judge and my name was called. A short lecture afterwards, I found myself ushered to a booth where I have to pay my fine. 20K IDR. Bent on revenge, I have prepared for this: I gave the officer in the booth a plastic bag, filled with spare changes, Rp 100s, 500s, and 1000s. Ha! Now what are you going to do with it? 

Two years after that, in Bandung, I was given a ticket: I was giving a ride to a friend, and with no spare helmet, it was such luck that there's a police officer happened to be in Tamansari crossing. So I got myself another ticket, and I prefer to go to the court. But then I realized it was a waste of time. I mean, at college you can't just easily skip classes. And in Bandung, the courthouse was packed! Think of the sort of event where people are cramming in to receive zakat fitrah when it's near lebaran. But these are people with similar tickets.

The officer who gave me the ticket wrote the date of the trial--if I can call it like that--on a public holiday, so I went there a week after, again with the spare change. But apparently there's no need to go there, as my files were at Police central office, not at the courthouse (due to the date confusion). Here's where it's funny: I had difficulty extracting the changes from my pockets, and after 15.000 IDR fished out and displayed there, the officer took pity. So I paid even lesser amount of fine! 

Though this rises the question, how much is the fine exactly for these sort of thing? I tried to looked it up, but I don't find anything on it (or rather, I don't know where to look). At any rate, this was an inefficient way of sorting out the mistakes people made in the street. Do people learned any lessons from the mistakes anyway? We paid, we got lectured, we're back on the street, slightly poorer, but business as usual. If that's really how it goes, might as well make it all streamlined and easy. And this is how I found the post from Indonesia Anonymus made me feels, "I never really thought of it that way"


Disclaimer are in order: riding without a helmet is dangerous. Can't really say for myself that I've crashed and without a helmet I'd be dead by now, but protection is what helmets are made for. And as far as riding without a license, I'm not one to give lessons, but I heard the police are making efforts to ensure that you need to be able to do more than paying the officers or the calos to create your driving license.

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