The Indonesian island is facing an increase in accidents involving foreigners not respecting the Highway Code. In Thailand, it is the rodeos of French tourists that annoy the Phuket authorities.
Enough is enough. After a series of road accidents involving tourists, the Indonesian island of Bali is considering banning the rental of motorbikes and scooters to foreigners. In the past two weeks, of the 367 traffic offenses committed in the province, 167 were committed by foreign nationals, according to local media.
“As tourists, act like tourists“, declared the governor of Bali, Wayan Koster, during a press conference on Monday, March 13. He regrets that many of them travel on motorized two-wheelers “without wearing t-shirts or clothes, without a helmet and even without a license“. Local authorities, however, did not specify when this ban would be put in place.
Only car rentals would be allowed
Most tourism professionals fear that this measure will be counterproductive at a time when tourist activity is restarting in Bali. Dedek Warjana, president of the Bali Motorcycle Rental Association, said the proposal was hasty and authorities should act on specific violations instead of imposing a blanket ban. Foreigners prefer motorized two-wheelers to get around the island, for lack of efficient public transport. According to the governor’s proposals, they would only be allowed to drive cars rented from travel agencies, which are more rigorous in terms of controlling driver’s licenses and applying penalties.
Bali is not the only Asian destination to experience a spike in road accidents. In Phuket, Thailand, more than 500 scooter accidents in January and February were attributable to foreigners, as pointed out The Phuket Express . Twenty French people were arrested after organizing wild rodeos in the Patong district. A situation that pushes the French Embassy in Thailand to think about “procedures for evicting and banishing tourists who go out of their way to disregard local regulations“, as she indicates on her Facebook page.