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Residents in Medan protest traffic police for ticketing school children in residential areas

A recent incident involving Traffic Police ticketing school children in a quiet residential alley has stirred up controversy. Local residents voiced their concerns, accusing officers of inappropriate conduct and even extortion attempts. This confrontation has sparked widespread debates on social media.

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INDONESIA: A viral video making rounds on Instagram depicts a heated confrontation between local residents and traffic police officers who were issuing tickets to school children riding motorbikes.

This incident, posted by the Instagram account lowslow.indonesia on Friday (15 Sep), unfolded in the Krakatau Grave area of Medan, North Sumatra.

The local community expressed their frustration over the ticketing, which took place in a residential alley rather than on a main road.

In addition to their protests, some individuals were heard mocking the traffic police officers on duty.

One person caught on video remarked, “It’s quite comical, seeing school children being pursued into an alley. Police conduct is becoming increasingly questionable.”

In response, others accused the traffic police of attempting illegal extortion, further escalating tensions.

The officers on duty attempted to clarify that they had stopped the schoolboy for driving on a public road, but the child had fled into an alley.

They vehemently denied any intent to extort money, with one officer stating, “He (the schoolboy) ran away, and I chased him. Did I even ask for money?”

Addressing the video, Kompol Mukmin Timoro, Head of Administrative Affairs for Prosecuting Violations at the Law Enforcement Directorate of the National Police Traffic Corps, defended the traffic police’s actions, asserting that they followed standard operating procedures for traffic law enforcement.

Mukmin argued that the incident began on a public road, but the underage child on the motorbike failed to stop and instead fled into the alley.

Therefore, he deemed the handling of the situation appropriate. He further explained that underage children driving vehicles constituted a traffic violation that required enforcement, typically resulting in a special fine.

According to protocol, the motorbike would be impounded, and the police would contact the child’s parents to provide education and clarification.

Regarding the pursuit of individuals into an alley, Mukmin stressed that such actions were taken with consideration for potential safety hazards, emphasizing that traffic law enforcement aims to prevent road safety risks and protect the community.

New manual ticketing rules for 2023

The National Police Traffic Corps has issued new manual ticketing rules for 2023 through Telegram (ST) number ST/1044/V/HUK.6.2/2023, dated May 16, 2023. These rules pertain to the enforcement of traffic violations.

Inspector General Firman Shantyabudi, Head of the National Police’s Traffic Corps, signed the telegram, which stipulates that manual ticketing will only be conducted by specific officers to curb violations.

The primary focus of the 2023 manual ticketing regulations is targeting violations that have the potential to cause severe traffic accidents resulting in fatalities.

The list of targeted violations includes: driving by underage individuals, traveling with more than two passengers (for motorcycle), using a cell phone while driving, running red traffic lights, failing to wear a helmet, driving against the flow of traffic, exceeding the speed limit, operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, using substandard vehicle equipment or fake number plates, and operating overloaded or oversized vehicles.

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