Skip to Content

Bali Police Clamp Down On Dangerous Driving, Should Tourists Be Concerned?

Share The Article

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. 

Traffic Officer Police On Road in Canggu Bali Mopeds

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. 

Top 5 Travel Insurance Plans For 2023 Starting At $10 Per Week

Easily Earn Points For Free Travel

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.

Moped scooter drives through quiet street in Nusa pendia

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.  

Remove All Ads & Unlock All Articles… Sign up for The Bali Sun Premium

Plan Your Bali Holiday:
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
Book Cheap Flights To Bali
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance That Covers Medical Expenses In Bali

For the latest Bali News & Debate Join our Facebook Community


Enter your email address to subscribe to The Bali Sun’s latest breaking news, straight to your inbox.


Thursday 23rd of March 2023

Many people, whether bule or locals, ride motorbikes as if they are high speed bicycles so accidents should be expected. I've seen quite a few involving locals. When bule tourists try to ride like locals that is when they get into serious accidents.


Thursday 23rd of March 2023

Yet 50% of locals break traffic rules all the time. Loud bikes, no helmets, no license plates, kids racing, more than 2 persons on a bike, unsafe maneuvers into moving traffic, and more and more.

Then focus on all the locals who burn plastic garbage in the nature between residential buildings, poisoning everyone. It's illegal, written into multiple laws.

Too weak and cowardly to clean up your own house, east to target foreigners. Pathetic.

Rod Wilkinson

Wednesday 22nd of March 2023

About time there was some rules put in place.As an Aussie,I am embarrassed by the bogan behaviour of the Kuta crowd.For the welfare of everyone on the road,no license,no motor bike.


Tuesday 21st of March 2023

The beasts from the east !! .. send all East Europeans packing .. really, what is wrong with these people... no manners no style .. really low class... Hear the same stories from Thailand and other places.


Thursday 23rd of March 2023

@Benito, Absolutely correct, savage huns.

Wayan Bo

Wednesday 22nd of March 2023

@Benito, Mussolini, ciao Bella ciao …


Tuesday 21st of March 2023

If the gov. did some research beforehand this could have been avoided.

Why not ask the Spaniards what they think about the Russian mafia gangs invading costa del Sol with Marbella!

The upside for the Balinese is that a lot of $$$ are flowing in pushing up prices on everything -- now they need to manage the downsides.

Peter Krause

Tuesday 21st of March 2023

why do you explicitly only attack tourists on the road? There is rarely anything more undisciplined than the local motorcyclists.