Police officials in Bali are calling on tourists to be extra careful while driving in Bali, especially on accident-prone roads. The Head of Public Relations for Bali Regional Police, Chief Stefan Satake Bayu Setianto, has told reporters that where possible, tourists should hire a local driver who knows the roads, especially if the tourist themselves do not have a driving license. His statement comes just hours after a major car crash in Buleleng Regency. The collision occurred on Monday afternoon and involved four Russian tourists.
Chief Seitanto said, “For tourists in Bali, if you want to use a motorbike or car rental service, the most important requirement is to [know] the vehicle and have an official license. If necessary, [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.” He also called on domestic tourists from other parts of Indonesia to proceed with caution on Bali roads whether they are driving cars or mopeds.
His warnings come as he was confirming the details of a car crash in Buleleng Regency involving four Russian tourists. At around 1.30 pm on Monday 16th January, a car driven by a Russian tourist with the initials DP, 25, crashed off the road and fell 25m into a ravine.
The white Daihatsu Ayla was a rental vehicle. DP was driving three other tourists, all of whom were taken to hospital with serious injuries. After being evacuated from the wreckage of the vehicle, the four tourists were taken to Paramashidi Hospital in Singaraja in Buleleng.
They were all then transferred to the BIMC Hospital in Kuta for further treatment. It is reported that they suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries and were all conscious when they were taken to the hospital.
Chief Seitanto continued, “The accident happened, allegedly, because the driver was not careful and could not control the car. It is suspected that the brake did not function properly [and the driver] did not master the condition of the road.” However, he did confirm that DP holds an international driving license.
The news comes within the same week as two tourists have died on Bali’s notoriously dangerous roads.
On Saturday, 14th January, a 24-year-old Russian woman died after taking control of a moped she did not know how to drive. The woman, known by her initials MK, was riding as a passenger on a moped while her friend was driving them both from central Ubud to the social club, Parq Ubud.
Police confirmed that MK took control of the moped after her friend had pulled over and stepped off the bike to check GoogleMaps. MK is reported to have pulled the moped to near full throttle, lost control of the bike, careered off the side of the road, and fallen 30m to her death.
The tragedy came just days after a Ukrainian tourist was found dead, having lost control of his moped and driven off the edge of the Canggu Shortcut. The incident was hailed as a wake-up call by many online as major collisions, accidents, and even fatalities are becoming more frequent across the island.
Local residents discovered 33-year-old DR in the early hours of Tuesday, 10th January. Police confirmed that he died 3-5 hours before he was discovered in the drainage canal along with his moped. He was not wearing a helmet and is believed to have died on impact. However, it was not only inexperienced, drunk, or unlicensed drivers who came under scrutiny following the incident.
Police and emergency services were condemned by online commentators for not closing the road in order to respect DR’s dignity in death. The Canggu Shortcut remained open as the investigation was launched, and his body recovered into the waiting ambulance.
One comment online read, “Why is the shortcut open, where is the police, where is the tape blocking off the area, why is the scene such a zoo … poor man. Why are there no authorities at the scene clearing out the area and keeping people away? Where is the Banjar? How many people have to fall and die in that ditch before whoever is in charge of that neighborhood installs some barriers?”
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