This is in response to two foreign tourists who died in a road traffic collision this week.
In the first incident, a foreigner from Ukraine with the initials DR (32), died in a traffic accident at the Canggu Shortcut Bridge, Canggu Village, North Kuta District, Badung Regency, Bali, on Tuesday, 10th January 2023 around 8:00pm local time.
The other incident involved a 24-year-old Russian woman with the initials KM, who died due to a traffic accident and fell off a cliff on the Tuyung River, Junjungan, Ubud District, Gianyar Regency, Bali, on Saturday, 14th January.
Further, last Monday, four Russian citizens were travelling by car that fell into a 25-metre ravine in Buleleng. There were no deaths in that incident, but all the passengers received heavy injuries and are now being treated in a hospital in Buleleng.
The Head of Public Relations of the Bali Police, Kombes Stefanus Satake Bayu Setianto, said that there were several accidents involving foreigners, perhaps because they could not ride motorbikes or had broken the traffic rules.
The police team will ask all vehicle rental businesses to look at tourists’ driving licenses when renting a car or motorbike.
“We give a plea to all the vehicle renters – when renting a vehicle to a foreigner, they must check their driving license according to their qualifications. If they rent a motorbike, they must at least have a two-wheeled vehicle driver’s license and they are expected to use a helmet as an obligation,” said Setianto.
Tourists who drive a four-wheeled vehicle must always use a seat belt. Setianto said the police officers can issue tickets using Electronic Traffic Law Enforcement (ETLE), rather than manually.
“We are temporarily issuing fines to traffic violators only through ETLE. Meanwhile, outside of that, we will be giving warnings verbally or in writing. But not in the form of a manual ticket,” said Setianto.
“We are making more effort for vehicle rentals to restrict vehicle rentals to foreigners who rent them. We still appeal to them, do not just sell because of the price and do not see the rules of foreigners who rent them,” he added.
Kombes Setianto confirmed that there are still many foreign tourists who ride without wearing helmets and there are also those who are not proficient in using motorbikes but have the courage to ride on the streets of Bali.
“Yes, we often see them on the streets. However, they think that the streets are like those in Canggu, which are small, and think that there is no need to wear a helmet. However, on highways like the street heading to Denpasar, they usually use helmets. But in many other streets, they don’t use helmets. In the future, we hope that the officers on the road are obliged to reprimand and urge them to wear helmets if they see foreigners,” he said.
He also emphasised that his team would convey to the head of the Work Area Unit (Satker) to give special instructions to officers in the field to give strong warnings to foreigners. However, if they are still stubborn, they will be not allowed to use the motorbike anymore and the rules will be stricter again.
“The warning is in the form of a strong warning to them to use helmets. We hope officers will force them a little harder to use helmets, if they don’t want to, they can’t ride the vehicle. And of course, we are going to restrict the use of the vehicle again,” he said.
Maybe some money should be spent on fixing these problem roads and making them safer first.