Bali’s Very Deadly Roads

We strongly wish the authorities in Bali would put as much effort into preventing traffic-accident deaths on the roads of this island as they are with their current, sweeping rabies-eradication program, because the high number of senseless deaths on the roads is intolerable.

Particularly we are concerned about the youth-orientated anything-goes culture in which adolescents and those much younger use the streets and roads as their personal playground.

They pile on motorbikes and, helmetless, race at high speed, text and chat on cellphones and ignore rules of the road – which they doubtless are unaware of – and zip through red lights.

Such absurd and illegal behavior spells disaster, and we see it daily. One example is on page 2 of this edition, where our columnist Elizabeth Henzell portrays the fleeting life of one young Balinese who died at the weekend in a traffic accident.

We have heard this distressing story once too often, and we call upon Governor Pastika to hold Bali traffic police to account, and reprimand lax behavior.

There was one heartening development this week, however, when Jembrana Traffic Police announced that due to widespread reckless driving on the Denpasar-Gilimanuk corridor, new police posts would be set up and the lengthy stretch patrolled around the clock.

That’s good news, but only a start. Bali Police officers, renowned for cracking down on foreigners for minor traffic transgressions, must now start saving the lives of their own people, by doing their job.

Erecting roadside banners asking people to drive carefully and adhere to road rules is meaningless if the officers themselves are not going to apprehend every errant driver or rider who passes by. Installing speed cameras that track license plates, as many countries do, would firmly bolster their efforts.

It has to be zero-tolerance, for the good of all.

Filed under: Editorial

2 Responses to “Bali’s Very Deadly Roads”

  1. James Says:

    Bravo for this. Bali’s roads could be safer within weeks if the police actually made an effort. A list of ten rules to be enforced with zero tolerance and the introduction of Stop signs and a right hand rule, as operated in just about every other country on the planet, would make this a much safer place for all to drive. Such a list could be handed out at all intersections for a few weeks before being enforced. The Thai and Malay governments both did similar things some years back with success.

    Oh..and the introduction of a driver licensing system, with tests, that doesn’t simply exist to provide ready cash for the police who administer it.

    People should be able to drive before getting a license. Right now they simply pay a policeman and head onto the roads. The biggest problem here is that people simply have a) no driving skills and b) without those skills, learnt over years and from watching ones parents, they are allowed onto the roads all sorts of unsafe vehicles with deadly results.

  2. Alan Says:

    Yes I agree,give way to the right.Police red lights,
    two examples are Jl.Ulawatu at the bottom of Temple hill,and Intersection at McDonalds on the bypass rd.
    to Nusa Dua.
    But most of all stop people driving on the right into oncoming traffic