Dec 17, 2007

Bali Traffic “Road Rules”: The Revealation

As you step your feet in our island, you'll soon notice that we have different traffic "road rules" with those European or American countries. Some of the rules may appear strange to you. And here are some of the "rules" you will observe in the tiny streets in Bali.

  • Beeping "rules". People seems to beep a lot more here. A driver beeps when asking other driver to give way to him, so he can drive through. A driver also beeps when saying hello to a friend he meets in the street or offers transport service to tourists.

  • Hazard lamp "rule" for cross road. The hazard lamps are lit when going straight in a cross road. Maybe the logic is that when turning right or left, we have to light either right or left sign lamp. So, if going straight, both lamp; left and right, should be lit.

  • "Rules" for crossing the road "Zebra crossing" for pedestrians. Cars will not stop at zebra crossing, even though you have stepped your feet on the zebra crossing area. This will make crossing the road a little bit more difficult. Well, just ignore the zebra crossing, pay attention to the cars passing by. If there is no cars around, you can cross the road safely. The cars will only stop at zebra crossing which is located next to a traffic light, (when the red traffic light is on).

  • "Rules" for overtaking other vehicles. In Denpasar and surrounding areas, it is common for cars to over take from the outside or inside. It's handy, but not recommended since it is dangerous.

  • Crash helmet for motor bike is law in Indonesia, but people in the villages, or area where police do not present, don't really care about helmet. So, it is not unusual if you travel to remote areas seeing people riding without crash helmet.

Those are the most common "road rules".Contrary to what you think, there is hardly any road rage in Bali. Every one is patient and keeps anger to oneself rather than expressing it by smashing other people's car.

"These are not real rules," you say. That is right. We do have the real traffic rules we must obey. But "these rules" here are should not be ignored either when driving in Bali to ensure safe driving or walking in the street.

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