Indonesia Ministry to target unofficial, unguarded crossings to reduce railway accidents

The Transportation Ministry’s railways directorate general is seeking ways to increase railway crossing safety across the country, especially at unguarded, informal crossings where accidents often occur.

Railways director general Zulfikri said in Jakarta on Friday that the ministry would develop a railway crossing safety roadmap and measurement strategy to boost railway crossing safety in Indonesia.

“We will identify the critical or dangerous spots where accidents often occur, especially unguarded, unofficial railway crossings on heavily congested roads,” he said.

Traffic accidents often occurred at railway crossings because many were still unguarded.

He said the railway directorate would take several measures and actions, including empowering local communities by being involved in guarding informal crossings.

The ministry also planned to cooperate with regional administrations in formulating the railroad crossing safety roadmap and executing its safety plan.

The directorate general’s latest data shows that 5,829 official and unofficial railway crossings exist in Java and Sumatra. Of these, 1,194 crossings are licensed, registered and guarded, and 3,456 crossings are registered but unguarded. The remaining 1,179 crossings are neither registered (unofficial) nor guarded.

The safety and security directorate at state-owned railway operator PT Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI) recorded 1,379 accidents in 2014-2018, of which 1,174 accidents occurred at unguarded railway crossings.

Riza Roidila Mufti

The Jakarta Post