Tourists behaving badly in Bali has been something of a recurring theme in the news this year.
As the island has continued to grapple with foreigners breaking the law and disrespecting local culture, there is one kind of violation in particular that keeps cropping up.
Tourists in Bali have been slammed online for some of the wild behaviour that has been witnessed on the roads. Police and the Tourism Task Force are on the lookout for foreigners who are breaking the rules of the road.
While the most common violations are driving without a helmet, drunk driving, driving without a driving license or insurance, speeding, and ignoring traffic signs, it seems that over the last few weeks, more tourists have been highly irresponsible on the back of motorcycles.
There have been several videos circulating online of tourists carrying wheeled suitcases on the back of motorcycle taxis on main roads.
Those who have stayed in rural parts of Bali before will know that sometimes local guesthouse staff will carry suitcases from their guests’s taxis on the main road, through the one-way narrow alleyways to the accommodation.
While this is a little unsafe, it generally happens on small lanes where there is no other traffic, and only happens if the alley isn’t suitable for cars.
What is increasingly being caught on camera is tourists on the back of a GoJek, Grab, or Ojol taxi bike riding pillion trundling their suitcases along beside them on busy main roads in popular resort towns.
The Instagram accounts @BaliLivin and @idiots_inbali have amassed a collection of the most viral videos of this kind, though similar footage has been circulating on local citizen journalism sites for months.
In the most recent viral video of this kind, a blonde tourist can be seen on the back of a motorcycle, wearing a strapless bikini top, carrying her suitcase in one hand and what appears to be a beer bottle in the other. Her driver, a fellow tourist, is wearing a helmet but is a little unstable at the helm.
Many have slammed the duo for not simply hailing a taxi to get them from A to B with their luggage.
A comment that can be seen on many of the other videos that show tourists carrying their bags on the bike, or where two, sometimes even three other tourists are sharing a ride on the same motorcycle taxi.
The video has gone viral accompanied by the song “Dumb Ways To Die” and the comments section is full of comments slamming the pair for brazenly breaking the law, and endangering other drivers on the road.
This most recent video of the tourist carrying her suitcase to the side of a moped is just one of many similar videos of tourists in Bali caught breaking the rules of the road red-handed.
This kind of behaviour was cited by the ex-Governor of Bali Wayan Koster as one of the main reasons why he wanted to eventually ban tourists from hiring their own vehicles on the island.
Before his term as governor came to a close in September, Koster doubled down on efforts to ensure that tourists respected local culture and Indonesian law.
He made it clear that tourists were only able to rent motorcycles from businesses that are formal rental providers, rather than tourists hiring motorcycles from local people on an ad-hoc basis.
He also established the Do’s and Don’ts of Bali which reiterated Indonesian laws around driving which require a foreigner to have an international driving licence and insurance before getting behind the wheel.
While some of the videos of tourist faux pas on the roads in Bali may seem amusing, the reality is really quite scary.
In the last month, at least three tourists and dozens more local people have lost their lives in traffic collisions on Bali’s streets.
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