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A Seat in a Safe Bus

Following a Fatal Bali Bus Crash, Tour Association Chief Wants Bali to Regulate Age and Condition of Tourists Transport

(12/1/2013) The Bali chapter of the Indonesian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (ASITA) is calling on the government of Bali to urgently create rules and regulations governing the age of transportation used for transporting tourists on the Island.

The chairman of ASITA-Bali, I Ketut Ardana, issued the call shortly after six people, including four Mainland Chinese tourists, died in a bus mishap in South Bali.

“The government has the authority to regulate the age of vehicles using the roadways. However, the maximum age for a tourist bus operating in Bali, as far as we know, is not limited under the current law,” said Ardana quoted in NusaBali.

While admitting accidents can happen at any time, regardless of the age of the vehicle, Ardana added: “But if it can be avoided, don’t use old buses. The bus that fell into the ravine (killing six people) was built in 1994 by Mitsubishi that when the engine failed the brakes no longer functioned.”

Ardana said the quality of a bus used on a tour program is often connected with the price charged for tours, meaning Inexpensive tours make it difficult to provide new buses.

Ardana postulated that the maximum age for a bus used for tourist transport should be put at 15 years, saying that a survey should first be undertaken on the composition of the current bus fleet and its condition. He also suggested that the terrain and conditions in which a bus operates should also be taken into consideration in any decision determining the safe operating profile of a tourist bus.

The most recent accident near Uluwatu that cost the lives of ten people was not the first fatal bus accident involving tourists in Bali. Ardana recalled a bus accident in Kintamani that once claimed the lives of 10 French tourists. There was also a bus accident near Tampaksiring that killed one passenger.

Ardana said there were a number of dangerous roadways in Bali operating on inclines and along deep ravines. The ASITA-Bali chief called on the regencies to improve road conditions in these areas, including roadside barriers.

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