Police in Bali are proposing a new system for bike owners who rent out their bikes to tourists on the island. The move comes as the new Electronic Traffic Law Enforcement (ELTE) cameras that have been installed in Denpasar, Badung, and Tabanan are flagging foreigners breaking traffic rules.
However, since the rental bikes are registered to the owners, the warnings or fines are being sent to the bike owner, not the driver of the bike at the time.
To remedy this, police in Tabanan are tabling the idea that bike rental owners must take a copy of the renter’s passport before handing over the keys. While many bike rental owners already ask for a passport copy, or at the very least a passport or driving license number, there is no set rule that requires them to do so.
Many bike rental owners require renters to fill out a form with basic details like their name, where they are staying in Bali, phone number, and even their ID number. There is technically nothing stopping the potential renter from giving false details to avoid being held accountable should something go wrong.
Now Tabanan Police are socializing the idea that bike rental owners should be required to take a copy of the renter’s passport before letting tourists drive off with bikes. Many feel this is a step in the right direction, especially as there have been calls for bike rental owners to even check the competency of foreign drivers before waving them off on the road.
The Head of Satlantas Polres Tabanan AKP Kanisius Franata told reporters on Monday, “the purpose of this appeal is so that rental owners are also safe and so that drivers can take responsibility. It is also related to the application of electronic ticketing. Let it be clear who is responsible if there is a violation, also question if it is the renter who violates”.
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AKP Franata stated that the idea is in its infancy. He did not go into details about how the new infrastructure could work. Whether rental owners would be required to submit copies of renter’s passports and driver’s licenses to the police or traffic authorities or keep a paper copy at their premises to be used in the event of an ELTE violation or other encounter with traffic law.
AKP Franata said the proposal would also apply to domestic tourists who rent mopeds in Bali too. He noted that they would be required to submit copies of their government ID and driver’s license.
Police in Bali are taking other measures to help keep drivers safe too. This time when they are parking their vehicles. Amidst an increase in the theft of motorcycle helmets, South Denpasar Police have launched an awareness campaign. Videos have been going viral online of beach visitors (locals, domestic and international tourists) having had their helmets stolen from their bikes in designated and informal parking areas.
Officers have conducted patrols around Sanur Port and Sanur Beach to help create a presence that will deter criminals. They have also been greeting beachgoers and informing them of the awareness campaign. Although the focus of the campaign is helmet theft, police are also raising awareness about theft in general, talking to beachgoers about the importance of keeping their valuables safe and highlighting the areas prone to crime.
The news comes as Bali Traffic Police’ ‘Great Safety Campaign 2023’ came to a close last week. The campaign was carried out by traffic officers across Bali and was an opportunity for police to communicate road safety protocols to all road users. While police did pull drivers over who were violating the law, no fines were handed out, only verbal warnings. These included violations such as not wearing a helmet.
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