Transport officials in Bali have made a huge announcement that will impact tourists who want to drive on the island. The news comes as the provincial government is working hard to crack down on badly behaved tourists on the island.
By ‘badly behaved’, the behavior officials are looking out for is outright illegal. From operating businesses without the correct visa to posing naked at sacred sites to driving without the correct driving license, officials in Bali are taking a stand against illegal behavior by foreigners on the island.
Speaking to the press, the Head of the Bali Provincial Transportation Agency, Samsi Gunarta, has confirmed that foreigners who wish to drive in Bali must have the correct driving license.
While this has always been the law, it has been enforced with a level of flexibility. Motorbike rental shops have not been legally required to check whether a tourist has a driving license, and so many tourists hire scooters without having a local or international driving permit.
@itslorenluisa Bali traffic is insane! #canggu #seminyak #balitips #balimoped #balibelly #scoopygang #trending #fyp #foryou #balitravel ♬ Spin Back x Cardboard Box – Kuya Magik
Gunarta told reporters, “internationally, actually people are allowed to drive vehicles; however, they must have the right license. This is what must be ensured, if they don’t have a SIM, yes they can’t [drive here]; they have to be disciplined, they have to have a license”.
There are two different kinds of driving licenses in Indonesia. The SIM C is the driving license required to drive a motorcycle, and a SIM A is required to drive a car.
International driving licenses are generally recognized in Bali, but since traffic law enforcement has been considered to be somewhat more relaxed than in other parts of the world, many drivers do not think twice about whether they have the correct paperwork.
@lukegalavanting POV: You riding your moped for a month long across Bali. #bali #balitravel #balilife #travel #indo #canggu #canggubali ♬ Paradise – Coldplay
Driving without the correct license in Indonesia is a legal offense. Violators face fines of up to IDR 1 million or four months imprisonment.
Gunarta’s reaffirmation of the law comes as a wake-up call for all foreigners on the island who wish to continue driving to double-check that their paperwork is in order.
Following a series of policy overhauls by Governor Koster and a rise in viral videos of foreigners breaking a traffic law, a Tourism Task Force has been deployed in Bali.
In addition to cracking down on foreigners conducting activities that go against their visa conditions, the Tourism Task Force is also working in partnership with the traffic police to ensure that foreigners are driving safely and within the law.
Product Review: Huge American embed Instagram code Royal Caribbean offers the kind of enormous, city-on-a-ship cruises that you either love or hate.
Gunarta said, “We have a problem of the many foreign tourists only wearing bikinis while driving rented motorbikes and driving [mopeds] without understanding how to drive before [taking to the road]. Even if it’s difficult to fix this habit, we are trying to overcome it.”
In mid-March, as the situation regarding foreigners driving illegally in Bali seemingly reached a fever pitch, Governor Koster proposed a complete ban on tourists driving on the island.
In his announcement, Governor Koster said that he wants to ban all foreigners from driving in Bali, seemingly of their licenses.
He explained, “So those tourists have to travel, walk, and use cars to travel. It is no longer allowed to use a motorcycle or anything that is not from a travel agent.”
The proposed changes were hailed by many as the kinds of radical changes needed to address the issue, especially the issue of traffic management in Bali.
But for many bike rental owners in Bali, the news came as a shock to the system; many urged the government to rethink the proposed plans.
While there are some large-scale bike rental businesses in Bali, the vast majority of moped rental services are small, family-run local businesses that provide the sole income for families on the island.
Families have invested huge amounts in their mopeds, and to suddenly be unable to generate income from their investments would be financially devastating.
One senator from East Bali told reporters that the government must “Just apply the rules that already exist properly.”
This is just what the Head of the Bali Provincial Transportation Agency, Samsi Gunarta, has reiterated this week; only drive with the correct licenses, and all will be well.
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.