A couple of years back they started to install countdown timers at traffic lights across Jakarta:
And then, almost as quickly, they started to uninstall them - or just leave them there but not functioning. The photo above was taken recently at one of the intersections in leafy Menteng, where they conceivably forgot to disable it, but nearly everywhere else, and especially at the city’s main intersections, they’ve been removed or disabled.
This is a strange way to use taxpayers money so what the heck is going on?
It could have been just a scam to spend City Hall money but I doubt it. More likely, I reckon, is that the countdown timers were probably causing accidents: note that if the countdown is on when the lights are green, then the driver knows exactly how much time they have before they must get through - and this may have encouraged reckless motorists to speed up when the timer had nearly run down to zero in a frantic attempt to make it through. And then banggg!!!!!!!
Interestingly, the countdown timer at the leafy Menteng intersection pictured above only counts down when the lights are red.
This means you can sit comfortably in your car knowing exactly how long it will be before you can start to move again. In other words, the countdown timer is of no real use whatsoever. Completely pointless.
And after all, you can always drive through the lights when they are red anyway!