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Indonesian Constitution Court Outlaws the Use of GPS Applications in Motor Vehicles

Kompas.com reports that the Indonesian Constitutional Court (MK) has refused an appeal against a law outlawing the use of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) installed on mobile telephones while operating a motor vehicle.

The appeal against the law was filed by Toyota Soluna Community, represented by their chairman, Sanjaya Adi Putra, who tried to persuade the Court that the use of GPD technology is needed in a number of business sectors, including online transport services. The plaintiffs sought a review of Section 106 paragraph 1 and Section 283 or Law Number 22 of 2009 on Traffic and Public Transport.

The subject regulations requires vehicle operators to safely operate vehicles with their full attention on the road. The requirement for “full concentration” has been interpreted to mean the prohibition of using hand phones and GPS systems.

When contacted by the press on Wednesday, January 30, 2019, Adi Putra said that while the Toyota Soluna Community respected the decision of the Constitutional Court that heard from a number of experts, but he still feels the Court’s decision is problematic. Adding: “We value the decision of the Constitutional Court. But the MK’s decision leaves the problem that GPS applications have become an important and needed application. What’s more for those earning their livelihoods as online drivers (ojek). “

Adi said his challenge to the law before the Courts was done because of the changing requirements of the modern era. He said the law’s focus on the possibility of distracting a driver’s attention can have a variety of interpretations. “The phrase ‘not disturbing concentration’ – what are the parameters of that phrase? This is different from texting while driving, which is clearly dangerous and not recommended. But when it comes to GPS applications as an aid-to-navigation they can actually assist concentration on the road,” explained Adi Putra.

He went on to say that vehicle manufacturers are now including navigation systems using GPS as standard equipment in vehicles they produce. Many cars have dashboard screens that incorporate both GPS navigation and the driver’s hand phone. There are also GPS application that use voice technology to help drivers maintain their concentration on the road ahead. Adi Putra said these factors make it wrong to impose a blanket ban on using GPS technology while driving and each use and applications should be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The law forbidding the use of GPS applications by motorists provides for fines of up to Rp. 750,000 or three months in jail.

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