Among the people from all parts of Indonesia, the Jakartans are most notorious for their erratic driving behavior. Whether the way the Jakartans’ crazy driving creates the traffic jam, or the traffic jams that causes the Jakartans to drive wildly, is just like guessing which comes first, the chicken or the egg.
If possible, have a driver to drive for you. But if that is not an available option, or if you want to experience the adrenaline rushes through your vein by driving in this hectic-fast paced-metropolitan of Jakarta, then these tips are for you:
- The driver seat is on the right hand side of the car. Thus, always travel on the left side of the road.
- Always keep your doors locked, and your windows closed at all times, especially when stuck in traffic jam, or when approaching red light intersections. There were reports filed on some red light intersections that some unidentified people robbed the drivers' cellular phones and wallet by force.
- Never put your cellular phones, money, wallet or other valuables on the dashboard, or anywhere that is visible from outside.
- Most Jakartans drive offensively, thus you must drive defensively. Always try to give way to others if possible, especially to the motorbikes. Based on personal experience, although the author's car was hit by the motorcycle, the author was coerced to pay for hospital fee and some amount of to the motorcycle driver. Only in Indonesia such thing happens.
- Pay more attention to the road signs. Some signs are partially covered by the trees alongside the street, some road signs shows the certain times or days to make a turn or u-turn.
- 3 in 1 is implemented in some streets in Jakarta in some certain hours. Avoid these straits of streets if you have less than three people in your vehicle.
- The regular rate for tipping a valet parking driver is Rp.5000- Rp. 10,000
- Always have your driver license and your car registration ready. When the police pulled someone over for breaking the traffic laws, they will ask for the above documentations. However, rather than going through the hassle of appearing in court for the hearing then paying the ticket, many Jakartans prefer to save their precious time simply by slipping some money along with the license and registration to the policeman.
- When you are not able to find a parking spot, or when you have difficulties in parking your car in the tiny parking space, look for the parking men in uniform. These guys will gladly help you find a space, or assist you in parking your car. If you park in the parking structure/parking lot in the malls, in addition to the hourly rate charged by the mall, you may tip the parking guy Rp.1000-Rp.2000. If you park on the street, usually you will need to pay Rp.2000-Rp.4000 depending on where you park and how long you park.