Break Traffic Laws in Bali, Face Deportation!

Foreigners who decide to travel around Bali in their own vehicles face a new danger. Previously, a lack of a license or helmet could result in a fine (or just a verbal warning with good karma), but now, breaking traffic rules on the island could get you a "deportation" stamp in your passport and send you back home.
Local authorities have confirmed that tourists fined by police officers for even minor violations are at risk of being deported. This news emerged after Indonesian officials once again considered how to make foreign visitors respect and adhere to local laws. The residents of Bali have complained that the number of foreigners behaving provocatively and undisciplined, especially on the roads, has noticeably increased in recent weeks. The island’s authorities continue to emphasize their dream of making Bali a peaceful and law-abiding place for everyone.
Saffar Godam, Director of the Immigration Control and Enforcement Division of the Directorate General of Immigration at the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, stated that by law, deportation can already be enforced, and the threat of such a punishment should serve as a deterrent for those who love to speed around the island.
"It's quite simple: tourists in Bali must comply with the conditions stipulated in their visas. All visas require and stipulate that the holder must abide by all Indonesian laws and customs. If they break these laws, they violate the conditions of their visa. The consequence of violating visa conditions, among other penalties, is deportation," explained Saffar Godam on how the deportation of violators will be legally formalized.
A tourist may face other types of punishment as stipulated by the specific Indonesian law they have violated.
Regarding traffic rule compliance and deportation for their violation, the official stated, "We are still developing the algorithm for how exactly this will be implemented." He added that it is not yet clear whether such deportation will include a subsequent entry ban and, if so, for how long.
For instance, deportation for violating visa conditions entails a six-month ban, which in practice needs to be manually annulled by the individual.
It is not yet clear how the policy of Balinese traffic inspectors will change, who currently mainly issue fines for riding without a helmet. Will they start demanding the correct category of international driver's licenses again, which they stopped checking as diligently after the lockdown? Will the forgotten word "raid" return to the expats' lexicon?
Recently, local traffic officers conducted a series of raids on young local drivers who install exhaust systems on their bikes that amplify the sound (commonly known as "straight pipes"). The police not only made arrests but also seized the vehicles and the equipment.
However, now it seems that the police's attention will shift to foreigners. After all, to avoid being deported from the paradise island for not wearing a helmet, expats are likely to be ready to pay up.
For peace of mind and safety (including immigration safety), tourists must have a fastened helmet, a valid international driver's license, and insurance. It is necessary for the driver's license to cover motorcycle operation. Note that most driver's licenses also allow the holder to operate a motorcycle with an engine capacity of 50cc, but most mopeds, scooters, and motorcycles rented by tourists in Bali have an engine capacity of at least 125cc. Therefore, a category B license will not satisfy the police.
The agency LegalIndonesia can help with obtaining local driver's licenses.
Incidentally, Bali's roads are statistically the second most dangerous in all of Indonesia, second only to East Kalimantan.
A bit more statistics: from January to the end of June 2024, 159 foreigners were deported from Bali. Most of them were forcibly removed from the Island of the Gods for overstaying their residence permit or for working illegally in Bali. How soon the immigration service report will include the category "riding a bike without a helmet" remains to be seen.
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