Tourists are raising concerns over safety after a local woman was reportedly attacked by her motorcycle taxi driver this week.
Police in Bali have arrested the driver in question after he admitted to having attacked a 31-year-old woman who didn’t want to chat with him during the journey.
The attack happened on Monday 6th November at around 3.30 pm in the Dalung area, close to popular tourist resorts like Seminyak and Canggu. The taxi driver, known locally as an ojol, booked the GoJek booking from the 31-year-old woman who is only known to the media by her initials, NF.
NF is said to have booked a motorcycle taxi from her home to go and buy rice in Kerobokan. Badung Police Public Relations Head, Inspector Ketut Sudana, has confirmed that the driver has been arrested and a criminal investigation is underway. News of the incident quickly went viral, and now police have issued formal statements regarding the case.
Inspector Sudana said that the attack took place just 500m into the journey. He shared that the driver, known by his initials AHSBP, 25, quickly became furious after NF did not want to chat with him during the journey. He is said to have asked her questions that she did not wish to answer.
Angry and frustrated, AHSBP is said to have pulled over and ordered NF to get off the motorcycle. It’s been reported that “the victim was beaten with bare hands and suffered injuries to their lips, nose, left cheek, right wrist and bruised back.”
Inspector Sudana added, “Feeling threatened, the victim ran away from the perpetrator so she wouldn’t be hit again. After the victim ran away, the perpetrator immediately stepped on the gas and left the location.”
NF was able to gather herself and contact the police to report the attack. Inspector Sudana confirmed, “The suspect admitted that he had abused the victim. The perpetrator stated that he committed violence against the victim because he was annoyed and offended because the victim had not answered several questions. The perpetrator has been detained at the North Kuta Police Headquarters.“
@kouragethegirl how i prefer to get around 🙂 #grab #gojek #bali ♬ love nwantinti (ah ah ah) – CKay
Badung Police have also been in direct contact with officials at GoJek to get a better understanding of AHSBP’s driving history. Speaking separately GoJek’s spokesman for East Java, Bali, and Nusa Tenggara, Yondi Hartanto, has confirmed that AHSBP was fired from his role with immediate effect.
AHSBP now faces 2-5 years in prison if he is found guilty of assault under Indonesian Law. He remains in police custody.
Since the news of the attack on NF went viral on social media community sites this week, conversations have resurfaced around the safety of using e-hailing taxi services and motorcycles in Bali.
Dozens of anecdotal reports from tourists have been shared online, ranging from angry exchanges between disgruntled drivers to drivers not opening and offering change for cash journeys to reports of attempted assaults or even passengers being abandoned far from their destinations if traffic was too congested.
Both GoJek and Grab have a series of safety features that users are advised to have enabled at all times. However, these features cannot immediately stop an attack or confrontation in the process.
While cases like the attack on NF are rare, they are not unheard of. There are hundreds of taxi drivers in Bali, the vast majority of whom simply wish to do an honest day’s work and get their passengers from one point to another safely. But this attack and the anecdotal reports are a cause for concern for tourists in Bali.
In October, the provincial government announced a new standardisation accreditation that will be rolled out for participating taxi drivers across the island.
The taxi consortium will establish a rigorous accreditation system that gives tourists greater peace of mind when it comes to booking a taxi service.
The Head of the Bali Transport Service, I Gede Wayan Samsi Gunarta, told reporters, “We will ensure that the requirements, components, and labeling criteria are met.”
He added, “Audits will be carried out on-site to verify conformity to technical guidelines. Only then from the audit will we issue labels, whether in the Silver, Gold, or Platinum.”
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