The recent fatal pileup, involving musician Ahmad Dhani's teenage son, offers a good lesson to many sides. The accident was not merely a matter of underage driving, which left seven people dead and 12 others wounded; it also highlighted the lack of parental monitoring of their children's whereabouts and activities.
Dhani and his former wife, Maia Estianti, may have testified to the police that they never allowed their 13-year-old son, affectionately called Dul, to drive his car on his own because he was still underage.
However, he did so. Worryingly, an alarmingly high number of parents allow their children to drive to school without driver's licenses, as has been shown by the netting of a great many students in raids launched by the police following the fatal accident on Sept. 8.
On the other hand, many drivers found guilty of reckless driving have not been punished harshly; neither have their driver's licenses been revoked.
For instance, the son of Coordinating Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa, Rasyid Rajasa, who was found guilty of driving recklessly, causing a toll-road accident on New Year's Eve this year, was sentenced to only seven months' probation.
Then there was the case of model Novi Amelia, who hit seven people while driving under the influence of liquor and drugs. She was sentenced to a mere seven months in jail.
Meanwhile, a driver's license is an official document that states that a person may operate a vehicle in compliance with the Traffic Law.
Furthermore, a transportation expert from the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), Ofyar Tamin, said that the holders of driver's licenses were supposed to fully understand traffic signs and laws, and to know the potential risks if they drove recklessly.
"Selfish and reckless motorists are out there because they don't have enough understanding about driving, despite the fact they have driver's licenses," Ofyar said.