Jakarta (ANTARA) - The number of traffic accidents during this year's Christmas and New Year holidays — December 18 to 25 — declined by 39 percent compared to the year-ago period, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said.

"We have witnessed a decrease of 39 percent in accidents during this year's Christmas and New Year holidays as compared to last year," he stated after inspecting the readiness of the Central Transport Post for Christmas and New Year in Jakarta on Monday.

He lauded the public and toll road operators for maintaining safety and security during the homecoming period, and expressed the hope that the number of accidents would not increase in the remaining holiday period.

Sumadi further noted that ill-prepared tourist buses, especially those operated by unofficial drivers and which pass through risky routes, have a high chance of becoming involved in accidents, with a higher number of victims in a single accident.

Sharing the results of his inspection of the transport post, he said that the flow of vehicles through the post remained under control as of Monday. As predicted, he added, the peak of the homecoming flow occurred on December 23–24.

The traffic flow in a number of congestion-prone spots, such as Merak Port, Ketapang Port, Cipali Toll Road, and Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, was smoother as per observations, he pointed out.

However, he said that the traffic density was still apparent on the Cikupa Toll Road. He then urged the police and the toll road's operator to continue coordinating to further smoothen the traffic flow there.

The minister revealed that several tourist destinations have recorded an increase in the number of visitors.

He then appealed to the people to not insist on visiting such places during peak hours.

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Translator: Farhan A, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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