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Bali's Biggest Losers

Crackdown on Overloaded Trucks on Bali Roadways to Reduce Traffic Congestion and Road Damage.

(5/21/2011) The Department of Transportation, Information and Communications (Dishubinfokom) for Bali has announced that they will recommence full time operation of three weighing stations in order to reduce the widespread and flagrant disregard for maximum weight limits by trucks traveling the island's roads.

Quoted by Antara Bali, the chief of Bali's Dishubinfokom office, Made Santha, said, "the weigh stations which we are re-opening are located in Cekik (Jembrana), Serirt (Buleleng) and Batubulan (Gianyar)."

He explained that many freight trucks and trucks carrying excavated materials travel up and down the Gilimanuk-Denpasar, Denpasar-Nusa Tenggara Barat (BTD) and the Gilimanuk-Singaraja highways with loads greatly exceeding the legal limits.

"Although the weigh station at Cekik is open 24-hours a day, there are still many heavily overloaded trucks entering Bali from Java. On the other hand, we encounter obstacles in enforcing the law even though the trucks have been issued tickets," explained Santha.

In order to discourage the overloading of trucks in Bali, Santha wants to see the overloaded trucks forced to unload excess freight when discovered so drivers will be aware of the consequences of breaking the law.

To supplement enforcement efforts, Santha's department is also operating a portable weigh station that can be located at any location on the island, such as on Jalan Prof. Ida Bagus Mantra connecting Denpasar with East Bali.

Santha reports that a joint operation between the traffic police, the provincial police of Bali, the Enforcement Agency for Bali (Satpol PP Bali) and the Transportation Organization (Organda) recently weighed 100 goods trucks of which 90% where found to be overloaded and subsequently ticketed. Santha said the crackdown conducted over a two week period has reduced weight violations by 30%.

Insisting that tighter control of overloaded trucks will continue, Santha said: "trucks that exceed their safe carrying capacity are a danger to other road users as well as the drivers of the overloaded vehicles. When these truck are descending hills or even traveling on level roadways their braking systems are unable to safely bring the trucks to a stop."

He also explained how the high volume of freight being moved on Bali's roads by overloaded trucks is causing severe damage to the roads and disrupting traffic flow due to the size of the trucks and their inability to maneuver smoothly. He also complained that the overloaded truck often park on the shoulder the road, causing damage to the highway edges and resulting in traffic congestion.

"Based on a survey of transportation patterns it is known that 40% of road damage is caused by water and 30% due to overloaded vehicles. The remaining incidents of road damage are due to natural disaster and the construction methods used on the subject roadway," said Santha.

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