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Drunk Driving, Alleged Extortion: Bali’s Roads Increasingly Wild For Tourists

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Data revealed by Bali officials late last year confirmed that in just 12 months, the number of collisions and incidents on the island’s roads more than doubled.

This figure is just the incidents that were formally reported to the police.

Things are getting seriously wild out there. 

Car in a Crash

There is no one party or demographic to blame.

Just this week, a local taxi driver is being investigated for alleged extortion of a tourist passenger, and in another case, a tourist driver is being investigated for causing a collision in which several people were injured while drunk. 

In response to the alleged extortion, the Head of Bali Transportation Service, IGW Samsi Gunarta, told reporters that the taxi driver in question was operating an illegal vehicle.

In a now-viral video, a female passenger was allegedly extorted out of IDR 400,000 from a taxi driver while traveling from Seminyak to Kuta, a fare that should usually cost half that amount.

In the video, the taxi driver seems to be becoming increasingly aggressive and threatening to the female passenger, a domestic tourist, who was driving through the resort area after dark.

Despite being questioned by reporters, Samsi was reluctant to say which taxi company was connected to the car the driver was driving.

However, he assured reporters that the removal of the car from the taxi company’s fleet list would now be in accordance with the procedures. He said, “Apparently, it is not an official vehicle. Actually, the vehicle has been written off by the company in question.”

Samsi added, “I’m calling the taxi itself to ask for clarification as to why this happened. This means there is something internal to the company that means they didn’t carry out the blackout (fleet deletion/deactivation) process perfectly.”

This is an all-too-common issue in the Kuta and Seminyak areas, where old vehicles that were once branded as part of a legitimate fleet are decommissioned.

These vehicles are then sold or, in some cases, leased out, but just enough of the original branding remains so that illegal taxi drivers can convince tourists they are legitimate providers.

Samsi confirmed that every fleet vehicle that is ‘retired’ must go through a write-off process. 


Speaking separately, the Head of the Bali Province Tourism Service, Tjok Bagus Pemayun, confirmed that more training workshops will be held to train taxi drivers on how best to serve tourists.

In an unrelated incident that has also got everyone talking, a Russian tourist, alleged to have been drunk driving, is under investigation by police in Uluwatu after causing a major collision.

The Head of the Public Relations Section of the Denpasar Police, AKP I Ketut Sukadi, confirmed to reporters, “The driver of the Audi DK 1678 YF sedan, in the name of YI, from Russia, was under the influence of alcohol.”


Reports from the scene suggest that YI was driving on the wrong side of Jalan Pecatu Graha, in Ungasan close to Uluwatu, when he collided with an on-coming vehicle.

AKP Sukadi reported that the collision resulted in injuries to the driver of the Honda Brio, with the initials FH (23), and four tourists from France who were riding in the car. All those in the Honda Brio had to receive medical attention.

Both vehicles have seen substantial damage, with total losses amounting to IDR 50 million at a minimum. 


Both of these incidents are just a snapshot of the kind of situations that are happening on Bali’s roads every day.

Whether in the city, the resort, or the village, there are reports of traffic collisions resulting in serious injury and death every single day.

Bali is the most dangerous place to drive in Indonesia outside of East Kalimantan. 

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Monday 8th of April 2024

There are several foreigners in Bali who abide by the local law, take lessons and eventually pass the driving tests for cars or motorcycles. Once passed by the instructor, they apply for their respective licenses at the local Polresta. There may still some long term foreigners out there who are still NOT documented locally to operate a vehicle or a motorcycle. They may drive recklessly on the road when they are already some locals who do not obey traffic rules. There is a different psychology of driving in Bali. Therefore taking the lessons would help out a lot to understand that and get a license to feel more at ease on the road.

I know so from several foreign friends who are in Bali who took the diving lessons and earned a license. They are now very confident driving on the road in Bali.

Why are there still Russian men in Bali? Dodging the conscription to join the war...driving under the influence and caused havoc on the local road instead. Actually some are not good drivers to begin with. Foreign drunk drivers causing fatalities on the local road should be deported.


Monday 8th of April 2024

The Balinese traffic is only for maniacs. And who are the 2 fat dudes in the pic?


Tuesday 9th of April 2024

@BaliDuck, "who are the 2 fat dudes in the pic?"

Those are two fat, drunk, budgie smuggler wearing Russians driving on the wrong side of the road nearly killing some French tourists and a local.

As they are foreigners they got their photo in the news.


Thursday 4th of April 2024

"400,000 from a taxi driver while traveling from Seminyak to Kuta, a fare that should usually cost half that amount."

For everybody reading thisL: this is false information. It is what local drivers charge you. If you use Grab or Jek, it should be aroud 50k.


Thursday 4th of April 2024

more ruskies will be better :(


Saturday 6th of April 2024

@Hns, Is that you Volodymyr?


Friday 5th of April 2024

@Pete, not completely agree, you forgot, dead in your remarks


Thursday 4th of April 2024

The increase in reported incidents doesn't necessarily mean an overall increase. It could be simply higher level of reporting and increased police activity. The highlighting of the Russian involved and no others is poor journalism pandering to current perceptions. The reality is the overwhelming number of accidents involve locals.