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Navigating Bali’s Roads: A Comprehensive Guide to Road Regulations

As an accomplished journalist and editorial columnist, I’m committed to providing you with accurate and valuable information about road regulations in Bali, Indonesia. Whether you’re a local resident or a curious traveler, understanding the rules of the road is essential for a safe and enjoyable experience. Let’s dive into the details:

1. Driving in Bali: Rules and Requirements

a. Licensing and Permits

Foreigners can drive in Bali, but they must adhere to specific requirements:

  • International Driving Permit (IDP): If you plan to drive, obtain an IDP from your home country. It’s essential for legal driving in Bali.
  • Helmet: Whether you’re on a scooter or a motorcycle, wearing a helmet is mandatory.
  • Seat Belts: If you’re driving a car, ensure all passengers wear seat belts.

b. New Regulation for Tourists

Due to safety concerns, the Bali government has drafted a new regulation. While tourists can still drive if they meet the requirements, there’s a shift toward using authorized modes of transportation:

  • Authorized Vehicles: Tourists are encouraged to use vehicles provided by travel agents, such as taxis, hired cars with drivers, or guided tours.
  • No More Scooter Rentals: Foreigners are no longer allowed to rent scooters independently due to safety risks.

2. Safety Challenges and Local Driving Habits

a. Balinese Driving Habits

Driving in Bali presents unique challenges:

  • Aggressive Overtaking: Some Balinese drivers overtake aggressively, especially on narrow roads.
  • Parking Chaos: Streets can be crowded with parked scooters, leaving little room for traffic.
  • Traffic Rule Ignorance: Some locals ignore red lights and drive in the wrong direction.

b. Road Conditions

Bali’s roads vary:

  • Narrow Streets: In places like Ubud, narrow streets are common, with scooters parked along the roadside.
  • Left-Side Driving: Remember that Bali follows left-side driving, similar to the United Kingdom.

3. Practical Tips for Safe Driving

a. Stay Alert

  • Mobile Phones: Avoid using your phone while driving.
  • Pedestrians and Animals: Be cautious; unexpected pedestrians and animals may appear.

b. Respect Local Norms

  • Balinese Culture: Show respect for local customs and norms.
  • Patience: Traffic can be slow; patience is key.

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