Motorbike Lights-On Policy Largely Ignored

DENPASAR ~ A police directive for motorcyclists to turn their lights on during daylight hours in a bid to reduce accidents has largely been ignored, though police said the accident rate has markedly declined.

Since the program’s inception in January, there were 33-percent fewer accidents on Bali’s roads, according to Traffic Police chief Singgamata.

“So far there’s been a 33-percent decrease in accidents during the day,” he said.

The policy is set to initially last for one year, after which its effectiveness will be evaluated and legal measures possibly introduced to clamp down on violators, police said.

During the last two years, road-traffic accident rates have risen in Bali, from 511 in 2005 to 570 last year, with 10-percent resulting in fatalities, according to Bali Police chief Paulus Purwoko.

He said the lights-on measure was necessary to make other motorists more aware and hopefully reduce the accident figures.

But a quick look at passing motorbikes on the streets shows that while some have their lights on, the majority do not.

Motorcyclists interviewed by The Bali Times were mixed in their reaction to the new policy, with one, a financial consultant, saying, “It doesn’t make sense to turn on your lights during the day.”

Another, a 26-year-old student, said: “I think it’s a good rule, as long as everyone follows it, because it can help decrease the number of accidents. But it does have one disadvantage: the battery wears out faster.” (BT/RD)

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