Police in Bali are continuing their crackdown on badly behaved foreigners on the island. The new campaign was ordered by Bali’s Governor Wayan Koster last week.
The crackdown has caused a social media storm, triggering concern from some tourists. Officials have confirmed that well-behaved visitors to Bali have nothing to worry about.
Last week, Governor Koster announced a province-wide crackdown on foreigners behaving badly. His instructions were divided into three very clear categories.
1) Revoke the visa on arrival for Russian and Ukrainian citizens.
2) Revoke the right of foreigners to drive in Bali. Starting with a crackdown on foreigners breaking the law while driving, whether this be through driving without a license, not wearing a helmet, or driving dangerously.
Governor Koster ultimately proposed that he wants to introduce legislation that would make it illegal for all foreigners to drive in Bali, making it law that they must travel using a private car hired through a travel agent.
3) Identify and bring to justice any foreigner working illegally in Bali.
Officials in Bali have got to work right away. While it remains to be seen if the legislation around driving in will be bought into law, traffic police are cracking down on ‘naughty’ drivers in Bali’s busiest tourist areas.
In the ultra-popular tourist hotspot of Ubud, traffic officers have been issuing fines and warnings to moped drivers who are flouting the rules. The rules are clear, and the rules are simple; have a driving license, wear a helmet, wear clothes that are both culturally appropriate and safe for driving, and adhere to the rules of the road.
For the vast majority of foreigners in Bali, these simple rules are no different from the rule in their own country. When in Rome, as they say!
Speaking to reporters Deputy Chairperson of the DPRD for Gianyar Regency, I Gusti Ngurah Anom Masta, said, “Naughty foreigners must be disciplined. If you ride a motorbike, you must obey the rules.”
Masta shared that he feels the responsibility for road safety falls on both foreigners and motorbike rental businesses. He explained, “Motorcycle rentals must be more selective in renting out vehicles. Give it only to tourists who can drive and have an international driving license. Rentals must educate tourists about traffic signs that must be obeyed.”
Speaking separately, the Head of the Gianyar Police, AKP Muhamad Bhayangkara confirmed that although the most recent campaign is focusing on foreigners, he and his teams are, of course, reprimanding locals who are caught driving dangerously.
He added, “This action is not only for foreign nationals who travel but also local motorists. We also provide education to foreigners to be orderly when driving.”
AKP Bhayangkara concluded his statement by saying that “Anyone who commits violations, be they foreign or local citizens, we will take firm action.” Simple, clear…everyone can get on board with that, right?!
Just a heads up, it is not only on mainland Bali that traffic officers are looking for bad drivers. Over on Nusa Penida, an outlying island of Bali Province and a super popular tourist destination, traffic cops are being just as proactive.
Speaking on Sunday afternoon, Nusa Penida Police Chief Kompol Ida Bagus Putra Sumerta explained that he and his teams pulled over eight drivers for using fake license plates, five of which were driven by foreigners.
During a press conference later in the day, Klungkung Police Chief AKBP I Nengah Sadiarta confirmed that only two of the foreign drivers had international driving licenses.
While many of the headlines, and even conversations online, easily make it seem like Bali has suddenly become a hostile place for foreigners, it is not the case. For law-abiding tourists, digital nomads, travelers, and long-stay foreigners, Bali remains a welcoming and friendly place and always will be.
If you don’t have an international driving license, are unsure of the rules of the road, or are not prepared to wear a helmet, it’s not worth the risk of getting on a bike.
Plan Your Next Bali Vacation:
Book The Best English Speaking Drivers For Airport Transfers & Tours
Choose From Thousands of Bali Hotels, Resorts, and Hostels with Free Cancellation On Most Properties
For the latest Bali News & Debate Join our Facebook Community
SUBSCRIBE TO NEW POSTS
Enter your email address to subscribe to The Bali Sun’s latest breaking news, straight to your inbox.