Jakarta bans bikes from busy new road over selfie risk

Semanggi Interchange Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Indonesian authorities fear the bright lights of Semanggi may prove to be a dangerous lure to selfie-takers

Jakarta's administrators have banned motorbikes from a new overpass that opened in the city this weekend, over fears that its potential popularity as a spot for taking selfies could cause accidents.

The Semanggi Interchange is named after a common plant which resembles a four-leaf clover and the roads it passes over are shaped the same way.

They have also been lit with thousands of diodes that change colour every few seconds.

A Jakarta Transportation Agency official said the ban was aimed at keeping motorcyclists safe, as the area was already known to attract selfie-takers, the Jakarta Post reports.

"We are concerned about their safety because instead of crossing the interchange, they may just go there to take pictures," the official said.

Jakarta's governor, Djarot Saiful Hidayat, has also ruled out the idea of declaring a car-free day on the overpass for the same reason.

"We have to secure the place. People could fall while taking selfies. We have to make sure that no accident would happen here," the Tempo website quoted him saying.

Rise of the 'killfie'

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University in America in 2016 found that 127 people had been reported killed in selfie-related incidents since 2014, and that the most likely cause of death was falling from a great height.

But selfies are not the only danger to life on the road in Indonesia.

Traffic there, particularly in Jakarta, can be extraordinarily bad. In the month of Ramadan last year, at least 12 people were reported to have died of dehydration and exhaustion while sitting in it.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Selfie sticks in Indonesia are known as "tongsis", short for "tongkat narsis", which means narcissist stick

See also: The science behind why we take selfies

Next story: Russian official voices angst with Europe in poetry

Use #NewsfromElsewhere to stay up-to-date with our reports via Twitter.

Related Topics