Bali to ban tourists from motorbikes after bad behaviour

Bali, one of Indonesia’s most popular tourist islands, is set to ban foreigners from riding motorbikes. The law comes after a spate of bad behaviour on the tropical island.

Governor I Wayan Koster said: “You should not roam about the island using motorbikes, without wearing shirts or clothes, no helmet, and even without a licence.”

Under the new plans, tourists would instead be offered cars in a system managed by travel agents.

According to local police statistics, more than 171 foreign nationals have violated traffic orders in just one month.

Some tourists have even been caught using fake licence plates on their rented two-wheelers.

The governor warned: “If you are a tourist, act like a tourist” as the Government planned the newest crackdown.

Many tourists in Bali choose to get around using a motorbike as it is often quicker than the island’s public transport.

The island can suffer from congestion and tourists use the vehicles to jump the queue and travel back alleys.

The ban will be introduced under a regional law later this year but it is not yet clear how it will be enforced.

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Dedek Warjana, who chairs the Bali motorbike rental association, told the BBC the rules were hasty.

He said that authorities should punish specific offences rather than introduce a blanket ban for tourists.

Warjana also warned that an increase in the number of rental cars could increase congestion on the island.

Bali’s Governor also announced plans to revoke visa-on-arrival permits for Russian and Ukrainian tourists.

There has been an influx of arrivals from both nations since the Russian invasion of Ukraine but the governor said some were not abiding by local rules.

He said several Russian citizens were arrested last week for violating their residence permits on the island.

Tourism makes up around 60 percent of Bali’s GDP with the highest number of international visitors arriving from Australia.

The island also recently launched a campaign to encourage tourists to dress decently while on holiday.

The campaign aims to discourage tourists from dressing inappropriately while on the predominantly Hindu island.

The UK Foreign Office Advice for Indonesia states: “Traffic discipline is very poor and we have seen a large increase in moped and motorbike accidents, including serious injury and fatalities in Bali.

“Foreigners involved in even minor traffic violations or accidents may be vulnerable to exploitation.

“Consider employing a private driver or hiring a car with a driver. Make sure you wear a helmet if you’re riding a motorbike or moped.”

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