On 24th November, Bali introduced a new traffic management system. Badung Police and the Transportation Department installed a series of Electronic Traffic Law Enforcement (ETLE) devices across Denpasar and Badung Regency.
Traffic Police Officers were also given new powers to track traffic violations using their smartphones. The new initiative aims to ensure transparency and fairness while reducing traffic violations. Yet, less than a week into the new way of doing things, teething problems are already showing up.
A retired couple living in Karangasem Regency in Bali was shocked to receive a traffic violation fine linked to a car they sold five years ago. As many suspected when the news of the new system was announced, trafficking traffic violations digitally requires the central database of vehicle ownership and driver licenses to be up to date, which it is not.
An Australian-Dutch couple living in Bali reached an electronic ticket from Denpasar Police on Thursday, 24th November. On the one hand, the system works very well, handing out fines on the day of the launch. On the other, it’s immediately fallen flat on its face.
78-year-old Jasssen, and his wife, 41-year-old Agustina, told local reporters of their shock to receive a fine for a car they no longer own. Their old car, a Toyota Agya, was clocked running a red light at Simpang Buagan, Denpasar City. Yet, Jassen had sold his car to a Balinese driver in 2018. Jassen, who is a permanent resident in Bali, has no record of the details of the person he sold his car to, leaving him in a tricky situation.
Augustina told reporters, “It’s strange that the Police have ticketed the car, [because] it’s still in my husband’s name, but at the Samsat, it’s not in my husband’s data. The Samsat people can’t block it because there’s no data on my husband anymore”. Highlighting a discrepancy in the data shared between the Police and the Samsat Offices. Samsat is the Indonesian Motor Tax Agency.
The Police advised Augustina to fill out a form on the website to log that the ticket was sent to the wrong person. But, without information of the actual offender, Augstina couldn’t complete the form. She explained to reporters, “the identity of the offender must be filled in there, while we don’t know who the identity of the offender is. My husband has no data at all on the buyer. The KTP, cellphone number, are gone”.
The couple explained to reporters how they are keen to resolve the issue as soon as possible to ensure they don’t get into trouble in the future. Yet, they are left with help as to what to do next. Augustina said, “People on social media say let it be billed later when paying taxes, but [we worry that] other negative things [will happen] like if a crime has been committed or something,”
She shared that she hopes the issue will be solved quickly and that other people in a similar position. “Hopefully, the system is repaired first, the link between the Police and Samsat is repaired. As in our case, it turns out that Samsat doesn’t have the name of my car’s husband as the owner of the car, but at the Police it’s still there. There’s no connection”.
The Head of Public Relations of the Bali Police, Kombes Pol Satake, Bayu Setianto, was approached for comment. He confirmed that his teams were looking into the matter. The new traffic cameras have even been installed in response to a directorate from the central government and the Director of Traffic for the Bali Regional Police, Kombes Pol Ruminio Ardano.
He told the media that the cameras and traffic patrols are focusing on five key violations. These are using cell phones while driving, underage driving, not using helmets and safety belts, going against the flow of traffic, and driving over the speed limit.
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