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Unsafe at Any Speed

Police Chief Tells Legislators that Heavy Traffic Makes Bali's Roads Increasingly Unsafe.

(9/12/2007) While it's been long contended that no place can claim to be perfectly safe in the modern world, members of Commission I of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD) were no doubt shocked to be told by Bali's Chief of Police, Inspector General Paulus Purwoko, that the death toll on Bali's roads hit 371 people for the year through the end of August 2007 a number that holds the unenviable distinction of far exceeding the number who perished both terrorist attacks in Bali in 2002 and 2005.

During the same 8 month period of 2007, 607 people suffered serious injuries travelling on Bali's highways.

The report to local legislators was made by Bali's police officer on Tuesday, September 4, 2007, and reported in the Indonesian-language Bali Post.

Chief Purwoko said he feared that the people of Bali were becoming the victims of technology. The increasing number of vehicles crowding Bali's roads and a general disregard for traffic rules has resulted in the current very high casualty rates.

Also contributing to the carnage on Bali's roads is a high rate of motorcycle ownership that is the highest in Indonesia - averaging one motorbike for every 2 residents, and a pronounced reluctance among the Balinese to use public transport.

A Need for Mass Transport and Toll ways

The Chief of Police said the hoped Bali's lawmakers would seriously explore introducing a monorail, subway or toll road as means of reducing the massacre on Bali's roadways.