For anyone who has yet to visit Ubud, the artistic capital of Bali conjures images of tranquility, temples, and plenty of culture to observe. While this is absolutely the case, it is also true that Ubud has long succumbed to the often snail-paced traffic queues that curse so many of Bali’s tourism hotspots.
Thousands of tourists, digital nomads, and longer-term international residents hire motorcycles as an efficient way to get about town. However, in light of a rise in traffic violations, police in Gianyar Regency are taking a stand.
According to Gianyar Traffic Police, not all foreigners who rent and drive motorcycles in the regency, namely in popular tourist areas like Ubud, are proficient at driving the vehicle nor adhere to the rules of the road. According to local officers, accidents are not uncommon and can often be linked back to a traffic violation.
To tackle the problem, Gianyar Police are summoning motorbike rental owners to remind them to check the tourists renting their vehicles have the correct driving license. They are also urging motorbike rental owners to ensure tourists know it is a legal requirement to wear a helmet. The Deputy Chief of Police, Kompol Marzel Doni, stated on Sunday 29th January.
@pimlicophil Loving the tranquility of Bali #balitraffic #bali #indonesia #indonesiatraffic #ubud #ubudtraffic #trafficjamsoftiktok #trafficjamsofbali #peaceandquiet #tranquility #piccadillycircus #itslikepicadillycircusinhere #itslikepiccadillycircus ♬ original sound – Pimlicophil
Deputy Chief Doni said, “We will definitely summon the rental owners. We will gather here for a meeting to return to them and the MoU to be firm. Those who have vehicle rentals must comply with what is regulated by law.” Traffic Officers are often seen on Ubud’s streets, especially during rush hour. Officers can generally be found at the Jl Nyuh Kuning-Jl Raya Pengosekan Ubud Junction, the Jl Made Lebah-Jl Raya Pengosekan Ubud Junction, and at the junction in front of Ubud Palace. However, they conduct patrols and traffic management throughout the area.
@official_gdangels519 Driving around Ubud #indonesia🇮🇩 #traffic ♬ original sound – Travel_anywhereintheworld🧏♀️
The announcement from Gianyar Police echoes that of the statements made by the Head of Public Relations of the Bali Regional Police, Kombes Bayu Satake, last week. Since the beginning of the year, there have been two fatal traffic collisions involving foreign tourists and dozens more whereby drivers have been injured and rental motorcycles damaged. This is an issue in all major tourist destinations within Bali.
Officer Satake said that the newly implemented electronic traffic management systems installed in Denpasar and Badung will play a part in cracking down on traffic violators but that rental owners must do more to ensure that the people they rent their vehicles understand how to drive safely. Satake said, “Lately, there have often been traffic violations and traffic accidents experienced by foreign nationals. Foreigners use rental vehicles, but their lack of understanding of applicable traffic rules [is an issue]. Especially now that the National Police has implemented ETLE, which is installed at several points [across Bali]”.
He continued, “We urge rental owners, both cars and motorbikes in all jurisdictions of the Bali Police, before renting vehicles to foreign and local tourists, to be reminded when driving that they must have a [license] and comply with applicable traffic rules.“
The police spokesman even suggested that rental owners take a test drive with the tourists to whom they are renting their vehicles or at least a rundown of local road rules. This is in addition to ensuring that they have a driving license. “If it is necessary, the rental owners are expected to prepare a guide to accompany the foreigner when driving on the main road. This is important because tourists do not really know the roads they will go through to enjoy the beauty of Bali.”
In another statement issued last week, in the wake of another traffic collision involving a foreigner, Officer Satake called on tourists to hire a local driver to be extra safe. He said, “If necessary, [tourists should hire] the driver is from a Bali…It will be easier if the local driver is driving their vehicle, those who know the Bali area. We give this appeal to provide a sense of security and comfort, as well as safety when driving to tourists, both local and foreign, who want to enjoy the beauty of the island of Bali that we love.”
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