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The Need for a Hard-Headed Approach

Editorial: Bali Update Appeals to Baliís Governor and Badung's Regent to Require Motorcyclists to Wear Helmets on Baliís New Toll Way

(8/10/2013) Bali has traffic rules. Really, it does

 
While many Bali visitors who have experienced the havoc and free-for-all that characterize Bali’s roadways, rules actually do exist – albeit they are often ignored.
 
While foreigners and locals spend a great deal of time complaining about drivers in Bali, we are not so naïve as to think that instilling common courtesy and respect for traffic rules is likely to happen on any widespread basis anytime in the near future.
 
At the same time, we do have a simple suggestion for Governor Made Mangku Pastika and the Regent of Badung A.A. Gde Agung that will definitely save lives and begin a slow movement to better road discipline.
 
Quite simply: Enforce the current law on the requirement to wear safety helmets while driving a motorcycle by refusing entry to the soon-to-open Bali toll way to any motorcyclist or motorcycle passenger arriving at a toll booth without the mandatory helmet.
 
No compromise. No warnings. No helmet means absolutely no entry to the toll way.
 
Camera’s already in operation would ensure compliance with the law. Tollbooth operators letting anyone enter on a motorcycle without a helmet would get a formal written warning. Three warnings and, in accordance with Indonesian labor law, the tollbooth attendant gets fired. The desire to remain gainfully employed would soon guarantee helmets would be worn by motorcyclists and their pillion riders whenever travelling on the new toll way.
 
The impact of such zero-tolerance enforcement of the helmet rule could have a significant impact on road safety in Bali while also saving many lives.
 
Such a program, if successfully enforced, could be extended over time to also include the BTDC – Nusa Dua Complex and the Ngurah Rai International Airport. Workers trying to enter Nusa Dua or the Airlport without a helmet, would be told to park their motorcycles outside and walk the remaining distance if they are unable show a crash helmet firmly  affixed to their heads.
 
Dear Pak Pastika and Pak Agung, a simple written reminder to PT Jasa Marga Bali – the operators of the toll way is all that’s really needed to make this work. The law already exists, all we need is a little political will coming from your respective offices to start saving lives on the very first day the new toll way opens.