Bali is a province with so much to explore. With limited public transport options, many tourists choose to drive themselves around the island.
Tragically, over the last 12 months, conditions on the island’s roads have taken a dramatic turn for the worse.
The number of recorded collisions on Bali’s road has doubled in the last year. This 100% increase is a huge cause for concern for local communities and for tourists.
The Indonesian Transportation Agency has issued a response to the staggering statistics and has warnings for road users for the year ahead.
Data show that Bali, followed by East Kalimantan, has the most dangerous roads in Indonesia.
The Deputy General Chairperson for Transportation Safety, Indonesian Transportation Society (MTI), Rivan A. Purwantoro, told reporters, “If you look, what has increased is actually a drastic increase. This time there are two provinces that really stand out, namely Bali and East Kalimantan.”
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He explained that there has been an increase in the number of collisions involving drivers who do not have driving licenses and that exceedingly reckless driving has been a leading cause of collisions on Bali’s roads.
Purwantoro added, “What’s interesting is that Bali experienced an increase. Almost double the number of accidents last year. While East Kalimantan increased by 24%, this is what is important for us [to resolve.]”
Leaders will be looking to the approaches taken on the roads in Yogyakarta, which has seen a decrease in the number of collisions this year.
Purwantoro explained, “One example that is densely populated and has succeeded in reducing the number of accidents is Yogyakarta.”
“In Yogyakarta, the number of accidents has dropped by almost 17 percent. This means that Yogyakarta has good handling, especially in track areas such as provincial crossings, Yogyakarta to Bantul, Yogyakarta to Sleman, and so on.”
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Speaking separately the Bali Police Chief Inspector General Ida Bagus Kade Putra Narendra, gave more details on the specifics of the data on road collisions for Bali.
He revealed, “Throughout 2023, there have been 7,224 traffic accidents. This number has increased by 100 percent compared to 3,602 incidents in 2022.”
He continued to share the tragic details that “the number of victims who died due to traffic accidents in 2023 was 632 people, an increase of 25.89 percent from the number of victims who died in 2022, which was 502 people.”
The vast majority of these collisions involved motorcycles, 86% in fact, with just 7% of collisions involving cars.
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Collisions have been caused by everything from animals on the road to careless driving, drivers not looking in both directions before crossing junctions, speeding, drunk driving, driving with too many passengers on a bike, losing control of vehicles, and more.
Speeding has been a leading cause of collisions in Bali, with a dangerous rise in the number of speed racing gangs of local youth on the roads.
Police, traffic officers, and local security are all working together to crack down on the speed racers who have been organizing illegal races across all regencies late at night.
Drivers are also taking an increasing amount of risks as traffic congestion builds up on the island. With more vehicles on the roads, drivers are becoming more frustrated and take the rules of the road into their own hands.
Despite announcements earlier this year that Bali would ban all tourists from hiring motorcycles, or driving on the island, it remains the case that tourists can still drive in the province but only if they have all legalities in order.
Tourists must have a valid international driving license or Indonesian driving license, have vehicle insurance, wear a helmet and sensible clothing, obey the road laws, not drive under the influence of alcohol, and ensure that medical and travel insurance covers hospital bills in the event of a traffic collision.
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