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Bali Bans Smoking While Driving To Help Improve Road Safety

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Bali is working to improve road safety across the island, as well as improve transportation infrastructure. From building a new toll road to installing electric car charging points ahead of the G20 summit, from awareness campaigns around the dangers of drunk driving to the police’s latest announcement of a ban on smoking while driving. 

A high percentage of the Indonesian population are smokers, compared to many countries in Europe, Australia, and the USA. Figures suggest that 34% of Indonesia’s population, approximately 57 million people are smokers. The vast majority of smokers in Indonesia are men, making up a total of 63% of the total population. Police in Bali has announced a ban on smoking while driving any vehicle in a bid to help improve concentration and make Bali’s roads a little safer. 

Head of the Buleleng Police, AKBP Andrian Pramudianto, released a statement confirming that smoking while driving in Bali is now classed as a traffic violation. The ban is regulated by the Road Transport Traffic Act (LLAJ) and the Minister of Transportation Regulation Number 12 of 2019 concerning the Protection of the Safety of Motorcycle Users Used for the Interest of the Community.

The ban is being enforced hard from the outset. Pramundianto said that if drivers are caught smoking while driving they could face up to 3-months in prison or a maximum fine of IDR 750,000 (USD 50). This ban applies to all road users in Bali, local and international. 

While explaining the reasoning behind the ban Pramundianto acknowledged that it’s not the cigarette itself that impairs a driver’s capacity to be safe, but rather the distraction of lighting and smoking and that the ash and smoke could cause issues too. He explained ‘The ash can fly and then hit the eye. It could trigger an accident. Especially those driving behind it. That’s one reason that explains why you shouldn’t smoke while driving’.

It remains to be seen the influence the ban will have on road safety overall, or how it will be received by local communities. Many will feel that any effort to improve road safety on the island is a good thing, while acknowledging that many different approaches need to be put in place together to improve conditions. 

This news comes in the same week as a British couple was involved in a serious bike accident in Kerobokan. Alexander Hoyle and Joella Grace Senior from the UK collided with another moped and rolled underneath an on-coming car.

The pair were taken to BIMC Hospital after losing consciousness on impact and receiving serious injuries. Hoyle broke his leg and Senior experienced serious abrasions to her hands and arms. Since the beginning of 2022, five foreigners have died on the roads in the Canggu area alone. This has led to police in the area putting up banners written in English to remind visitors to wear a helmet and to never drink and drive. 

There are dozens of small motor accidents every day across Bali, but as the island continues to open up after two years of the pandemic, local traffic police are keen for a fresh start. As more people move around the island, traffic increases, and as traffic increases so does the risk of an accident or collision occurring.

As Bali prepares for the G20 Summit, which will see heads of state and industry leaders from around the world arrive in Bali, authorities are investing in renovating transportation infrastructure which will create a lasting legacy for the people of Bali too.

This includes a new toll road and new toll payment systems, and the introduction of facilities for electric cars which will be used for the G20 delegations. The electric cars will remain in use in Bali long after the summit has ended and the Indonesian government is hopeful that this will kick start the green transportation economy on the island.

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Tuesday 21st of June 2022

Seeing all kinds of people regardless of ethnicity or race who drive recklessly. Even driving on the sidewalks to pass congested stteets. Have seen a young Western couple on a motorcycle at a major intersection while the red light was clearly indicated made a bold illegal turn onto coming traffic from the opposite direction. Should the Western couple get into an accident, they would have blamed the motorists who had the right away crossing the intersection. Believe me that's how the mentality works here for the entitled morons.

Just like that Estonian model who was caught for a traffic violation and blame the cops for corruption. After her rant on social media, She was disqualified by Miss global 2022 and fled Bali.


Tuesday 21st of June 2022

It is a step In The right direction…unfortunately Indonesian men smoke everywhere- on the roads,in boats,in restaurants on the streets….everywhere! At least non smokers (people that care about their health) won’t have to breathe in their smoke now on the roads ,especially when stopped at traffic lights. Such a shame they are not educated more about the health risks of tobacco to themselves and other around them.


Thursday 23rd of June 2022

@Joe, Western and Eastern Europeans are also heavy smokers. Regardless of health issues, be it Europeans or Indonesians they still ignore the red flags. Nonetheless whether smoking is permitted outdoors or in designated areas, second hand smokers are still breathing the smoke. The tobacco companies are the culprits.


Sunday 19th of June 2022

What a load of crap, are they trying to make money because of the loss from corona, well it's good for the Under paid police in Bali, they will make millions on the side, you won't see tomany people going to court.


Sunday 19th of June 2022

Information leaflet needs to be handed out upon arrival Bali to inform about all unusual laws and regulations in Bali/Indonesia. Otherwise this is just seen as another way to trap tourists...


Saturday 18th of June 2022

Meaningless political waffle. The majority of road rules are not currently policed, so what makes them think polisi will target someone having a smoke. Besides how do you prove it? By the time the car is stopped the fag has been given to the passenger, thrown out the window..... Remember this? The regulations laid down by the Smoke-free Areas Provincial Law No.7, 2013 stipulates that tobacco smoking is not allowed in public places in Bali. These places include places of education, work places, places of worship, recreation areas or areas frequented by children. In the intervening 9 years has anyone been fined?