Jakarta (ANTARA) - Rented electric scooters are banned from crossing thoroughfares, sidewalks, or bike lanes in Jakarta, the province's transportation office stated here, Friday, while explaining that it aims to control their use following this month’s fatal incident.

However, privately owned scooters are still allowed to pass through bike lanes in Indonesia's capital city, Jakarta, the office stated.

"Scooter riders may cross private lanes or special zones, but the operator must firstly obtain permits from the office-in-charge. The rental scooters are currently no longer able to pass over main roads," Jakarta Transportation Office Chairman Syafrin Liputo reaffirmed.

Liputo noted that his office had contacted Jakarta Police's Traffic Department to impose the capital city's new regulation.

With the imposition of the new rule, the police will pardon first-time offenders by requesting scooter riders to step off the thoroughfares, the Jakarta Police's Traffic Department chief, Police Chief Commissioner Yusuf, stated on Friday.

"We will urge scooter riders to turn back to the permitted lanes," he explained.

If the riders choose to disobey the police's request, it will hand out a ticket or seize the vehicle, Yusuf remarked.

He further explained that the permitted zones for e-scooters, mainly operated by Malaysia-based GrabWheels, are only available at the Gelora Bung Karno Sports Center and the Soekarno Hatta International Airport.

On Nov 10, a car crossing at top speed at Senayan, Central Jakarta, at around midnight rammed into a group of six e-scooter riders. The police later found that the car driver was inebriated.

As a result, four riders were flung 10 to 15 meters, while the two others got dragged further. The two 18-year-old riders were found in an unconscious state and pronounced dead at the hospital owing to severe injuries on their head, back, and spinal areas.

The Indonesian Consumers Foundation (YLKI) believes that the incidents could have been averted if the e-scooter operator had offered clear-cut safety instructions to the users. "The information of Dos and Don'ts, in terms of safety, is essential, but I have not yet found it was provided by the operator," the watchdog's chairman, Tulus Abadi, stated.

He expounded that the operator must ensure that the users have a clear-cut understanding of the security and safety rules. It becomes more critical since no special lanes were demarcated for e-scooters.

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Translator: Livia K/Genta Tenri Mawangi
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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