Bandung highway to get rumble strips
Andreas D. Arditya. The Jakarta Post, Jakarta - 09/09/2011
State toll road company PT Jasa Marga has refused to take the blame for a recent series of accidents that have occurred on the Cipularang highway connecting Jakarta and Bandung, West Jakarta.
Jasa Marga director Frans Sunito said that the crashes were not the result of a design flaw on the 58-kilometer-long highway.
“Cipularang meets the technical standards and other requirements. It is smooth, and free of potholes and other types of damage. We have put up more warning signs,” Frans said.
On Wednesday, six people were killed when a shuttle minivan hit a truck from behind at Kilometer 93 of the highway.
Last week, an accident at Kilometer 94 claimed the life of Virginia Anggraini, the wife of renowned dangdut singer Saipul Jamil. Police have said they intend to charge Saipul with reckless driving.
Between Jan. 1 and Sept. 7, 18 people were killed in accidents on the highway.
To prevent accidents, Frans said that the company would introduce more safety measures, including rumble strips at accident-prone sections, including one long straight section of the road in Purwakarta, West Java.
Frans said the rumble strips would inform drivers that they were entering accident prone areas.
The company said it also planned to add more illumination between Kilometers 92 and 93.
“We continually evaluate our road safety measures,” Frans said.
Separately on Thursday, National Police Deputy Traffic Division deputy chief Brig. Gen. Didik Purnomo said that human error was likely the cause of the majority of crashes during the Idul Fitri holiday, including those on the Cipularang highway.
“The primary cause of the accidents was driver fatigue,” Purnomo told members of the House of Representatives at a hearing this week.
The police recorded a total of 4,744 accidents during the holiday season, comprising 779 fatalities, 1,334 serious injuries and 3,445 light injuries.
The Presidential Palace has also weighed in on the debate on what caused the crashes on the Cipularang highway.
Presidential special staff for disaster relief Andi Arief said that volcanic activity could have altered the topography of the area on which the Cipularang highway lies.
Andi said the crash that killed Saipul’s wife happened soon after a 3.3-magnitude earthquake hit Cisarua on Aug. 28.
The quake occurred on the so-called Lembang fault line, which lies under the Cipularang highway, Andi told The Jakarta Post recently.
The Cipularang toll road, which was inaugurated in July 2005 by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, was designed to cut travel time between Jakarta and Bandung, West Java. The road should have been inaugurated earlier, but was delayed several times due to frequent landslides.
The highway shortened the trip from Jakarta to Bandung from five hours to two-and-a-half hours.
The road, which started operating only a few days before the Asia-Africa Conference Golden Jubilee kicked off in Bandung, cost Rp 1.6 trillion [US$187.2 million] to build.
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