Traffic stops and international licences in Bali
A recent letter to the Bali Advertiser complained that tourists were being pulled over at certain places in Kuta while riding motorbikes. The writer said he watched 3 tourists on 2 motorbikes get pulled over, while locals without helmets were not.
The reason for this is that cops want to check licences. They know most locals have a licence and the highest probability of finding a rider without a licence is a tourist. How can the police spot tourists from expats? Tourists often share 1 motorbike. I’ve sat and watched the cops at the top end of Jl. Pantai Kuta wait for 2 bules on 1 bike, that’s all they are looking for.
Today riding down the sunset Rd to Kuta, I saw a police road block on the other side of the road, pulling everyone over. In the last 12 months, road blocks have been rare. It seems they are back again. I am still using my ‘creatively acquired’ International licence. The date is 2003 and it says I’m from Northern Territories. I’ve used it many times, but occassionally they notice the date and I have to pay.
Motorbike renters will rent you a bike without a licence. They don’t care, you’ll just have to pay the cops if you get stopped. Road blocks almost always happen on 2 lane 1 way streets. This gives them high volume and area to pull poepel over into without blocking the street. Favourite place include Jl. Pantai Kuta, the loop at the bottom of Jl. Legian at Melasti, Sunset Rd and Simpang Siur (roundabout).
Try passing off a 20,000rp note and act like you know the score.