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Safety Riding Takes a Back Seat in Bali

Bali Police Campaign for Greater Safety on Motorcycles Has Lost its Steam.

(3/29/2010) Efforts by the police to reduce the carnage on Bali's roadways via a system dubbed "safety riding" appears to be an idea that came and went with little impact on road safety.

Beritabali.com reports how the program was launched in late 2009 with much fanfare and the slogan "The People Love Safe Roads." Motorcycle clubs were recruited to travel in police-led convoys around the island in orderly parades and, day and night, with their headlights illuminated publicizing the campaign. Under threat of fines by police, Motorcycles riders were reminded that they were now required to always ride with their headlights "on" as a sign of their commitment to safer roads on the island.

And while police were initially active in the high-profile "safety riding program," pulling over motorcycles without headlights "on" and drivers who failed to wear helmets, the passage of time has dimmed, if not extinguished completely, any official support and enthusiasm for the program.

At the Surpati bypass near Jembrana in West Bali, police took the extra steps of installing loudspeakers to broadcast safety reminders to passing motor cyclists and installed banners in locations through the regency.

According to Beritabali.com, the people now pay little attention to safety guidelines, driving past the front of the Jembrana Police Headquarters with headlight off and heads unprotected by helmets. Sharing the public's lack of enthusiasm, the police also show little interest in enforcing the safety guidelines introduced with much fanfare just three months ago.