Is this for wheel? Words by James Booth.
After a particularly bad few months for nasty accidents and foreigners acting up on two wheels in Bali, the province’s Governor Wayan Koster has had enough.
After a spate of bules behaving badly on motorbikes, Governor Koster has reportedly asked for the legal ministry’s support in revoking visas of tourists caught riding motorbikes in Bali.
Governor Koster said at a press conference that foreigners should stay off the bikes “to ensure quality and dignified tourism.”
Bloomberg reports that “Koster has sought the legal ministry’s support to let Bali revoke visas if any foreign tourists are found riding motorbikes, or if they’re found committing other wrongdoings like illegally working or misusing stay permits.”
This news has sent shockwaves through social media, with some tourists furious at the prospect of no longer being able to get muffler burns and road rash. On Twitter one user wrote: “I visit Bali every year but if the scooters are banned I will not coming back for sure.”
To be honest, the locals need to give good example. Many local people still ride motorcycle without wearing helmet. https://t.co/OTnbjEF3WL
— PoppyLeon (@PoppyLeon) March 13, 2023
Others wrote things like: “Imagine if we banned selective people from the main mode of transport” and “revenue raising.” Yet others have blamed locals for setting a bad example. One wrote: “Can’t speak for Bali, but here I Jakarta at a guess > 60% don’t wear a helmet. It does give the idea it’s all good.”
Related story: The dishes you have to eat in Bali according to Melissa Leong
Another said: “To be honest, the locals need to give good example. Many local people still ride motorcycle without wearing helmet.”
Bali has had enough of unruly riders. Foreign tourists won’t be allowed to use motorcycles to get around the island anymore after a string of accidents https://t.co/wuMbAb5ZO0
— TIME (@TIME) March 13, 2023
One local media outlet wrote disbelievingly: “So now it’s the locals’ fault?”
They weren’t the only ones outraged by the outrage. Many people applauded the Governor’s proposal, with various comments like “it’s about time,” “they’re [the tourists are] arrogant” rolling in.
Another tweeted: “Foreign tourists on motorcycles are a menace on the roads, especially western tourists [who] lack nuances, alertness & awareness of driving and traversing the congested roads. Can’t master the art of zigzagging and handling of motorcycles and it’s a life skill experience.”
It’s worth noting that – at this stage – the ban is not in place. It’s more of a proposed rule that the Governor spoke about in a press conference.
I guarantee there will be a lot more content like the following if foreign visitors to Bali aren’t permitted to rent motorcycles:
motorbike renters go out of business;
more traffic in South Bali. https://t.co/TbJSOMMoGg
— Halo (@salahsambungya) March 12, 2023
One motorbike rental business owner in Denpasar told local media outlet Coconuts that the proposed prohibition would hurt rental businesses. They also said that forcing foreign tourists to rent cars would cause even more congestion on the roads.
“If the problem is unruly tourists on motorbikes, then the solution would be to tighten the requirements for them to rent and apply them uniformly,” he told Coconuts. “In addition to that, there should be regular checkpoints and strong law enforcement against traffic violators, both foreign and local.”
This story originally appeared on escape.com.au. It has been reproduced here with permission.
Related story: Bali bound? These are the island’s 17 best restaurants