Guide To Driving Cars in Jakarta

Driving in Jakarta would destroy your faith to humanity. It would seems to you that all those vehicles are driven by monkeys. The sad part is, driving a car everyday doesn’t make you to get used to it. It only makes you into becoming one of them.

If you can’t fight them, join them

Choosing Cars

Check the season and weather. If you gonna drive on wet season between November to March, and the weather forecast predicts it’s gonna be raining all day, it’s better to ride cars with higher ground clearance. Or even better, an amphibian. You don’t want to get your feet wet, right?

On dry season, use the ones equipped with excellent air conditioner.

Use automatic gear shift. Your trip will mainly consist with lots of braking and an average speed of 15 mph. Automatic gear makes your life easier.

The cars are right-handed.

Prepare Yourself For the Worst

Print this section and make yourself a checklist!

Double the amount of time to spend to your destination to anticipate traffic jams.
Learn Indonesian swear words like, ‘Bangsat’, ‘Anjing’, ‘Ngentot’, ‘Bego’, and ‘Goblog’. So you know when someone yells you that. Here’s how they’re pronounced: ‘bunk-sod’, ‘aunt-jink’, ‘and-thought’, ‘bay-go’, and ‘go-blog’.
Stay hydrated, bring canned coffee or soda. Might as well bring dinner too. There always time to eat between traffic jams.
▢ Bring some small changes (1000 and 2000 rupiah)
▢ Use apps like Waze or Google Maps to assess alternative routes and avoid being caught in traffic jams.
▢ Bring phone car chargers.

On The Road

Avoid rush hours, that is every weekday 6 to 8 am and 4 to 8 pm. Saturday night could be hellish as well.

The road is bumpy, stay alert for potholes.

Just wave your hand to say no to beggars on red lights.

There are some areas where 3 in 1 rule applied. It means that a car have to have at least 3 passengers to enter the area. The rule effects on Monday to Friday, 7 to 10 am and 4:30 to 7 pm. Check here for the route:

If you don’t have enough passengers and want to enter a 3 in 1 area, there supposed to be many 3 in 1 jockeys along the side of the road. Jockeys will ride with you so that you satisfy the minimum passenger quota. Their price will be 50,000 to 100,000 rupiah per person for one way.

Wear a seat belt when you’re at the front seats. It is in the law.

There are some traffic signs that completely useless. Such as speed limits and stop sign (We only stop at red lights, sometimes). Do obey the rest.

When refilling, you don’t have to get out of the car. Tell the petrol guy how many liters you want and he’ll do the rest.

Dealing With Private Cars

Private cars, like you and me!

Always make efforts whenever possible to piss off other drivers without bumping into them. It is a way to compensate what other drivers will treat you on the road. There are many ways to do this, such as:

  • Never give way when a car wants to overtake you. Speed up when they’re on your side and slow down when they got back into your tail.
  • Stay close to the vehicle in front of you when a car wants to get in the lane.
  • On traffic jams, frequently cut lanes.

But if you happen to be on the lane where a VIP wants to go through, better to give way for them. Don’t mess around, because in most cases, they wouldn’t even bother to stop if they hit your car.

The red carpet list:

  • The President and any high ranking government officials convoys.
  • Sick people on ambulance.
  • Police and military units.
  • The family and relatives of the police and military units. You can identify them using civilian cars but with emblems on plates and stickers or officer hat put on the dashboard.
  • Funerary vehicles convoys.
  • Firetrucks.

If you think that someone is tailgating you, that is how most people give space to one another.

Dealing With Motorcycles

Imagine a World War 2 scene where you’re in a battleship shooting kamikaze pilots from crashing to you and they come endlessly from every corner of your eye.

The first thing to remember, there are quadrillion of motorcycles in this city. There even a song tribute for them:

Expect to find people rides their motorcycle close to your car in less than a foot from any directions that is left, right, and behind. So always steer your car straight.

That being said, always cautious for motorcycle speeding from behind. Especially when you are taking a turn or switching lanes. They wouldn’t stop even when you already gave turn signal. Hell, they even drive more faster with your turn signals turned on.

Give motorcycles space for a way through. They struggle every inch of space available between cars, pedestal and any object to fit through. Accidental bumps and scratch will occasionally happens.

Visualize an invisible red carpet exclusively for motorcycles.

If they get annoyed, they will give you the angry stare. Try not to be intimidated. Just ignore and drive away.

Turn signals are rarely used and usually turned on after they made the turn.

They are invisible to car horns as car horns are invisible to them.

Judge them by how they look. Person who wears expensive helmets or rides more expensive motorcycle usually have better behavior.

Identifying Akamsi

Observe the motorcycle going the opposite way on the pedestal of a one-way road.

Compared to the other 3 bikers on the right side, he is more casual looking with jeans and no helmet on. Try to spot this kind of people; The ones without helmet or jacket, or in a pair of sandals and pants, are most likely to live within the area. Those kind of people think of themselves as a direct descendant from ancient families of high noble lords that once ruled the surrounding area, so law don’t apply to them. Locals calls them ‘Akamsi’, a short for ‘anak kampung sini’, that translates to ‘the kid from around the block’.

Like nobles, they surely do anything they will, you name it: making right turns straight across from the left side. Going the wrong way. Cutting your line then driving slowly. Sudden breaking. Going through a red light. U-turning on any opening available. And they do that with a flat face.

With that in mind, please humble yourself if you meet one or more on the road.

Motorcycle convoys

People in groups think they have more power upon others. So don’t challenge that power. Drive slower and give them way. But if they ride slower than you, try to pass carefully.

Try not to:

  1. Block their path.
  2. Annoy them
  3. Run over them

If you ends up having trouble with them, either your fault or theirs, you will end up sucking their cocks and getting butt-rape from the whole gang.

Dealing With Public Transports

Common public transports available in Jakarta are ojek(motorcycle taxi), taxi, angkot, rickshaw, and bus. Their job is to take passenger from point A to point B. Also to fuck with any private cars as much as possible.

Ojek Behaviors

You treat ojek just like any other akamsi motorcyclist, they are literally the same.

Taxi Behaviors

You treat taxi just like any other private cars, they are the same and mostly more aggressive.

Rickshaws, Angkot, and Bus Behaviors

The bigger they are, the more dimwit and fucktard they are.

Try not to drive too close behind them so you can anticipate to change lanes when they stop to pick/drop passengers.

They pick/drop passengers anywhere they want. If you upon to pass a bus that is dropping of people at the wrong side of the road, do be careful of the passengers that are coming out.

They don’t obey lanes. Like motorcycle, they’ll fit into any gaps available.

Honking do annoy them. Honk them a lot and sometimes they grunt while giving you your way. Curse back if necessary.

Dealing With Pedestrians

Pedestrians don’t spent a lot of money to be on the streets. So fuck them. They don’t have any rights to make you slow down even when they want to cross. Speed up when you can, deny them from ever crossing the street.

Dealing With Cops

When the cops stops you, comply with them. Be polite and state that you didn’t knew what you did wrong and solemnly swear that you will not repeat the same mistake again. Try to give them around 100,000 to 150,000 Rupiah discreetly to avoid tickets. Again be polite by saying sorry if they refuse the offer.

Dealing With Accidents

If it’s a really minor accident and it’s your fault, try to apologizing really sincerely with an excuse that make sense. Hopefully they caught in your story and let you go.

If it’s a minor accident and it’s not your fault, always assess the damage done. If you think the repair would cost a lot, even though they beg that they are in a rush to the hospital to see their dying mother, negotiate on how they gonna pay the repair bills. Do confiscate the driver’s license card or the vehicle registration number paper or both before they leave. Keep them until they pay the bills.

Try not to get accidents with public transport vehicles. They can’t afford to fix your car and their papers most likely to be fake or expired.

Always remember to lock your car when you got out of car. Some people will try to steal stuffs on your car when you forgot to lock and not paying attention because of the accident.

When things are out of hand. Call these numbers:

  • Police: 110
  • Ambulance: 118