Indonesia's state railway, Kereta Api Indonesia, has begun stringing concrete balls over rail lines to prevent people from hitching free rides on top of its trains, according to local news reports.
The devices are called Goal Bola-bola , or goal balls, as they resemble soccer goals with the grapefruit-sized concrete balls strung from chains, according to a report in the Jakarta Post.
The railway said it resorted to using the concrete balls after previous anti-roof-rider efforts -Â including greasing the roofs, spraying roof riders with colored water, and detentions and fines -Â didn't stop the practice.
But a human rights group says the balls expose violators to a punishment as severe as death for a minor infraction.
â€śPicture this: If a student has to take the train, he or she would face the threat of being killed by the concrete balls. Now his right to get to school safely is simply violated,â€ťÂ Yosep Adi Prasetyo, a spokesman for the National Commission on Human Rights, told the Jakarta Globe.
The balls will only be used on lines that run locomotives, according to the Globe report. Lines with electric trains will use swinging doors that will allow the electrical connectors through, but not roof riders.
Adi told the Globe the real problem isn't freeloading riders, but that there aren't enough trains to accommodate demand.
The solution to this problem is to deal with the root causes: poverty and lack of nation-wide access to public education. Give fish to a person and they can eat; teach them how to fish and they can eat and feed their family, too.
Thats nice, but the railways have about as much chance of doing that as bringing about world peace.
Here's a novel idea: How about requiring that the trains be unloaded when an idiot's body part is sticking beyond the confines of the train? They'll learn pretty quickly when the train doesn't move until they get off.
It's all fun and games till the railway company kills 1000 people with concrete balls.
why dont they just make all the rail cars convertable toped (no roof)? that is an insane fix....
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