In a few days, between the end of February and the beginning of March, the Bali police have recorded more than 170 offences to the highway code by foreign citizens driving scooters and motorcycles. Some violations even involve the use of fake license plates. Local authorities intend to react to this situation forbidding foreigners to use motorized two-wheelers. The proposed ban will be implemented through a regional law this year, but it is not yet clear how it will be enforced.
The plan, however, divides. Tourism contributes egr about 60% of the island’s annual GDP and there are many people who choose to use motorbikes and scooters for hire to visit it. Chaotic traffic and not particularly efficient public transport make two wheels one of the best solutions for getting around. The fear of a backlash on related industries is therefore well founded and there are those who argue that the authorities should act on specific violations, instead of imposing a blanket ban. Another hot topic is that of traffic: if the very many who choose two wheels were forced to rent a car, the already serious congestion of the road system would get even worse. There is no lack of proposals for alternative solutions. Many argue that they would help more detailed controls by the police. And that the vehicle rental system should be improved, for example by making sure customers have valid driving licenses, requiring security deposits and taking action against those who violate the rules.
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